Ranking England's penalty takers from 1-23
A shoot-out in Russia is almost inevitable. Here's who we trust (and don't) to reverse the Three Lions' fortunes from 12 yards.
1. Jamie Vardy
England’s most clutch player. There’s just no way he’s missing at a World Cup.
2. Harry Kane
The second of only two first-choice penalty-takers in the squad. Kane has the accuracy and composure to do the business, as he nervelessly proved at Anfield in February.
3. Dele Alli
A tidy finisher with a bullish attitude, Dele’s exactly the kind of player you’d trust with a penalty in a knock-out game (providing he hasn’t already got himself sent off).
4. Eric Dier
Who knew Dier had the technique to stick that free-kick into the top corner at Euro 2016? Don’t be surprised when he pops a penalty into the same spot this summer.
5. Gary Cahill
For some reason, it’s very easy to picture Cahill stepping up to the spot and drilling one into the top corner.
To be fair, he has done it before…
6. Jordan Henderson
Contentious, perhaps, but this intuitively feels right.
You can see Henderson trotting from the halfway line to the end of his run-up, opening up his body, and picking his spot.
Or maybe it’s just us.
7. Ashley Young
Young hasn’t taken a penalty since 2015 – and missed when England lost to Italy on penalties at Euro 2012 – but the 32-year-old’s experience and set-piece expertise make him one of the few semi-reliable options at England’s disposal.
8. Marcus Rashford
Rashford could move up this list if he rediscovers some confidence before the knockout stages. It shouldn’t be forgotten that only three players in the squad scored more goals last season.
9. Jesse Lingard
There’s a chance Lingard will be more focused on his post-penalty celebration than actually scoring, but he’s got the irrational confidence that you need in a shoot-out.
10. Danny Welbeck
A remarkable number of Welbeck’s 11 goals last season were scuffed, deflected or untidy.
He did at least score from the spot against AC Milan this season.
11. Kieran Trippier
Being a good crosser doesn’t necessarily make you a good penalty taker, but Trippier’s technique means you’d fancy him to whip one into the corner.
12. Raheem Sterling
The curious case of a player who scored 23 goals last season, but isn’t a natural finisher.
If this was a six-yard shoot-out that required clever off-the-ball movement, he’d top this list.
13. Jordan Pickford
Pickford’s distribution is so good that he could go even higher on this list.
The 24-year-old has been practising both saving and taking penalties, and it’d be no disaster if he stepped forward in Russia.
14/15. Ruben Loftus-Cheek/Fabian Delph
Midfielders with good technique, but no record that demands much more than a sudden-death position.
16. John Stones
Stones once attempted – and scored – a Panenka in a pre-season shoot-out against Juventus, which is either confidence-inspiring or completely terrifying…
We’re going with the latter.
17/18. Danny Rose/Kyle Walker
Good going forward, but not known as finishers. They're only stepping up if England haven’t managed to lose already.
19. Harry Maguire
Maguire’s comfortable bringing the ball out of defence, but the only way you’d want him on penalty duty is if spot kicks were taken with the head.
20. Trent Alexander-Arnold
Alexander-Arnold is sometimes entrusted with Liverpool set-pieces, but this is absolutely not his responsibility.
21/22. Jack Butland/Nick Pope
Two goalkeepers used to pumping the ball down the pitch every time they get it should be nowhere near taking a penalty in a shoot-out.
There is a worse option, though.
23. Phil Jones
*This* is his only penalty on record…