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World Cup Countdown: 15/1 on England missed pen v Italy

| 28.05.2014

Robert Lewandowski’s move to Bayern Munich from Borussia Dortmund this summer was perhaps a better kept secret than England’s dire record when it comes to penalties.

In six previous shoot-outs, England have lost five, missing 10 penalties from 31 in the process.

A penalty shoot-out may not be possible in England’s Group D opener with Italy, but that doesn’t mean that Roy Hodgson’s men will be any more lethal from the spot.

After all, England have a track record for missing a penalty in their first game at a major tournament, with David Beckham seeing his effort from 12 yards saved by Fabien Barthez against France at Euro 2004.

And 10 years on, Ladbrokes are offering 15/1 that lightning strikes twice as the latest leg of their World Cup countdown, with the price available on England missing a penalty in their opening group fixture with Italy.

It could be argued that the national team are due to miss a penalty in normal time, as this is something they have only done once since 2006, when Frank Lampard had his effort saved in a 2-1 victory over Japan in 2010.

Missed penalties are nothing new against Italy either, although only England’s oldest supporters may remember the moment with any recollection.

The moment in question came at Highbury in 1934 when Eric Brook stepped up in the first minute, but saw his attempt saved.

Who takes England’s first-choice penalty taker will be remains open to debate, with captain Steven Gerrard a prime candidate, alongside left-back Leighton Baines, who has a perfect 10/10 record in the Premier League.

Rickie Lambert has scored all 31 he has taken for Southampton, although it is unlikely that he will play a part against the Italians.

And whoever steps up will have to score past Gianluigi Buffon, who saved three penalties when Italy overcame Uruguay to finish third at the 2013 Confederations Cup.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.