England go into Euro 2020 as one of the strong favourites ahead of their opening clash against Croatia on 13 June.
Gareth Southgate is blessed with a supremely talented roster of players and expectations are unsurprisingly high as the Three Lions faithful dare to dream.
However, England have been at this juncture many times throughout history and yet they remain without a major trophy since 1966.
The dreaded penalty shootout has arguably been England's biggest nemesis on their quest for silverware.
They fell at the semi-final stage in Euro 96 following a penalty shootout defeat against Germany and once again succumbed to a shootout exit against Portugal at Euro 2004 during a golden era for English football.
Ahead of the delayed Euro 2020 competition, it's impossible to escape the feeling that Southgate's players will need to partake in a customary penalty shootout at some point on their journey towards success or failure.
With that in mind, GIVEMESPORT have turned to Tiermaker to assess the strength of England's options from 12-yards, ranking the players from "never in doubt" to "Gareth Southgate" based on a combination of penalty taking expertise and gut feeling.
Let's take a look below:
Never in doubt
- Marcus Rashford
- Harry Kane
- Kieran Trippier
All three players showed immense bottle to score from the spot during England's penalty shootout win against Colombia at the 2018 World Cup, and that experience holds them in good stead to score in a similarly high pressure scenario.
Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane have both scored plenty of important penalties for Man United and Spurs respectively, while Trippier's immaculate technique from dead ball situations makes him a safe bet.
Nerves of steel
- Jadon Sancho
- Phil Foden
- Jordan Pickford
- Raheem Sterling
- Conor Coady
- Jack Grealish
No, that's not an editorial error you're seeing there in the shape of Jordan Pickford.
Pickford is far from convincing between the sticks, but there's something rather Joe Hart-esque about his erratic, emotionally-fuelled approach to the game that suggests he'd emulate his compatriot from the spot.
Hart once took a penalty like a goal kick for Man City during a pre-season friendly shootout vs Roma and slammed the ball into the top corner like a seasoned forward. We expect absolutely nothing less than a left-footed thunderbolt from Pickford if he has to step up during the tournament.
As for Jadon Sancho and the rest of the outfield players, we fancy them to draw upon their technical prowess and, with the exception of Conor Coady, natural finishing ability to hold their nerve.
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Should get the job done
- Mason Mount
- Declan Rice
- Kalvin Phillips
- Reece James
- Ben White
Declan Rice's penalty miss on the penultimate day of the 2020/21 season may well be playing on his mind, but he's got the right mentality to put that behind him on the big stage.
The rest of the selections are all naturally gifted strikers of the ball with excellent passing range, so they should all be able to pick a corner and execute the finish, right?
Could be anything
- Bukayo Saka
- Ben Chilwell
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin
- Jude Bellingham
Bukayo Saka looked incredibly nervous on his England debut back in October 2020 and, although he's grown in confidence hugely since then, that could be an ominous sign in the event that he has to take a penalty.
Jude Bellingham is mind-blowingly mature for a 17 year old and could quite easily send the keeper the wrong way with ease, but the magnitude of the occasion can do strange things to even the most experienced of players.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is an excellent finisher but doesn't give the impression of a natural from the spot, while Ben Chilwell is another unknown whose tendency to pop up with the odd goal may bode well.
Look away now
- Harry Maguire
- John Stones
- Kyle Walker
- Tyrone Mings
- Dean Henderson
- Sam Johnstone
Four defenders and two goalkeepers. This mob spend most of their time defending the penalty area rather than penetrating it, and we don't expect to see any of them high up on Southgate's list of chosen penalty takers this summer.
- Luke Shaw
- Jordan Henderson
It was Southgate's crucial miss against Germany that sent England crashing out of Euro 96 on home turf at the semi-final stage.
Given the semis and final will all be played at Wembley this summer, the stage is set for England to potentially exorcise the demons of their past or, of course, for history to repeat itself.
If it indeed turns out to be the latter, then don't be surprised if Jordan Henderson or Luke Shaw fall on the wrong side of history.
The former missed in England's shootout against Colombia at the World Cup and once again failed to score from the spot in the pre-tournament friendly against Romania last Sunday.
As for Shaw, he managed to convert his penalty in the Europa League defeat against Villarreal but the look on his face after squirming the ball into the corner was one of a man who knew he'd had a massive slice of good fortune.
He won't get away with a comparably poor penalty a second time.
Here's the ranking in full: