If England really are to end 52 years of hurt and lift the World Cup this summer, or even just replicate the heroics of Italia '90 and reach a semi final, you have to imagine that they might need to win a penalty shootout at some point along the way.

The Three Lions have only ever won one penalty shootout in tournament football, beating Spain from the spot at the quarter final stage at Euro '96.

But painful penalty defeats against Germany in the World Cup in 1990 and at Euro '96, as well as Argentina in 1998, Portugal in 2006 and at Euro 2004, and Italy at Euro 2012, have left many England fans convinced that a shootout in Russia is effectively an instant elimination.

There is a way, though, with this four-step guide from Betway - all Harry Kane and co. need to follow in order to finally prevail in the 'lottery' of the World Cup shootout.

To begin, England must go first, if they can, as 12 out of the 15 shootouts in World Cup history have been won by the team who took the opening penalty.

Secondly, Gareth Southgate should immediately look to his forwards when picking takers. That is because the conversion rate for forwards in World Cup shootouts in 79%. So no shirking responsibility if you're a striker and letting loveable tryer Phil Jones take one...

Whoever takes the fourth penalty has to have nerves of steel because it can be make or break and is statistically the most missed kick in World Cup shootouts. Penalty #4 accounts for a disproportionate 26% of all misses - it was the fourth that Stuart Pearce missed in 1990 and Jamie Carragher in 2006.


Lastly, aim high. Low penalties, unless tucked right into the corner, are more easily reached by diving goalkeepers. Not a single World Cup shootout penalty on target in the top third of the goal has ever been saved. Put it in the top corner and no goalkeeper on the planet is reaching it!