Why Sunday’s match WON’T go to the dreaded penalty shoot-out
It’s England. It’s Germany. It’s the World Cup. So it must be penalties right? Wrong actually.
Reading the papers over the past few days, the country seems to think it a dead cert that Sunday afternoon’s match will be settled via ten kicks from the spot (priced at 5/1). Capello has even already named Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard, Barry and Milner as his Fab Five to rattle the ball past Manuel Neuer from twelve yards.
A look at the stats however, reveals that this game is far less likely to go to penalties than everyone thinks. So read up Frankie L –stop practising. It is all a waste of time.
In each World Cup since Italia ’90, only one Round 2 match has headed for pens, representing a 1/8 chance of this game following suit. Whilst home nations have been involved in three of those five, England have only featured once, back in 1998 against Argentina.
In addition, England World Cup penalty shoot-outs are so stressful, that the national team are kind enough to give us an eight year break in between them. We suffered in 1990 against Germany, ’98 as mentioned above, and then in 2006 against Ronaldo & co. So our next shoot-out defeat isn’t scheduled until Brazil 2014. Something to look forward to for the kids.
The prevalence of German dominance in penalty shoot outs at the World Cup is also largely a myth, probably due to the fact that many current journalists recall being allowed to stay up late to watch successive Teutonic spot-kick victories in ’82, ’86 and ’90, and forget there has only been one since (four years ago against Argentina.)
Germany have in fact never been involved in a penalty shoot-out at this stage of a World Cup.