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England already thinking about penalties against Germany

England have installed a team of statisticians to analyse their penalty-taking ahead of Sunday night's knockout clash with Germany in Bloemfontein.

The analysis team have recorded and studied all of the England players' penalties at training as well as past spot-kicks taken at club level and will now be told where to hit their shots to coincide with their strengths.

England have a poor penalty record in big tournaments so assistant manager Stuart Pearce wanted to bring in a system that would help the players if a penalty shootout was required in the World Cup.

Pearce used the plan when in charge of the England U21 team which went on to win this year's Euro championship and said it made sense to implement it with the senior team.

"We have analysed the direction in which players take penalties, which is the most successful way for each of our players, the success rate of those players, and obviously the goalkeeper's technique in saving penalties," he said.

"We spent two years working on those lessons. From years gone by the one thing that comes out is that when a manager walked out to the centre circle they had no idea who his best penalty takers were. He would ask who fancies it. That is not exactly a precise science, is it?"

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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