SCIENTIFIC FORMULA FOR THE PERFECT PENALTY SHOOT-OUT REVEALED

Ahead of the EURO 2024 knockout stages, the perfect formula to help England win a penalty shootout has been revealed, thanks to new research.

The study, conducted by Bonuscodebets.co.uk, analysed all England penalty shootouts throughout history, and reveals that Gareth Southgate should opt for right-footed takers, urge his players to avoid aiming for the bottom right corner and – thankfully for the Three Lions boss – have Jordan Pickford in goal.

In those deciding moments, England have missed 16 of their 51 penalties (31%) – with 12 being saved, two hitting the woodwork and two going over the bar. So, the study aims to provide Southgate’s side the best chances of winning a shootout, statistically speaking.

While considered a higher risk strategy, hitting the ball in the top corner is actually the most likely way to score a penalty, with all nine of England’s spot kicks aimed at the top left/right having beaten the opposition keeper – just as long as they don’t blaze the ball over the bar like David Beckham at EURO 2004.

And, when it comes to areas of the goal to avoid, Harry Kane and co should steer well clear of the bottom right corner. From the 16 penalties England have missed in shootouts, 50% of those have been aimed in that direction.

In fact, only three England spot kicks out of 11 aimed to the bottom right have gone in – giving that shot type a success percentage of just 27%.

On the other hand, Three Lions stars are more likely to score from 12 yards if they aim for the bottom left – with 10 out of 12 being scored, giving an 83% success rate. Gareth Southgate will remember one of those two occasions very well – his shot towards the bottom left being saved by Andreas Köpke to knock England out of EURO 1996 in heartbreaking fashion.

Success rate of all England’s penalties in shootouts by goal segment (not including shots off target):

Goal Segment Shots Taken Scored Saved Success Rate
Bottom Left 12 10 2 83%
Bottom Right 11 3 8 27%
Middle Right 6 6 0 100%
Top Right 5 5 0 100%
Top Left 4 4 0 100%
Middle Left 4 4 0 100%
Bottom Middle 3 2 1 67%
Middle 1 0 1 0%
Top Middle 1 1 0 100%

Diving into the research further, the data indicates that Southgate should avoid picking takers who shoot with their left foot. Lefties end up hitting the back of the net just half of the time – with four being scored and four missed, with failings from the likes of Chris Waddle and Stuart Pearce at the World Cup in Italy in 1990.

By contrast, of the 43 penalties taken by right footers, 31 have been scored (a 72% success rate), making them 44% more likely to score than left-footed players.

When looking at how England fare with facing penalties, 12 opponents have missed, with just six having been saved by an English ‘keeper, three hitting the woodwork, two going wide and one over the bar.

Southgate can thank his lucky stars that he’s got Jordan Pickford in goal. England’s current number one is just one of two goalkeepers to have ever made a shootout save for the Three Lions, and he’s stopped four of the six penalties (66%) England have ever saved – with David Seaman keeping out the other two.

Success rate of all England goalkeepers to participate in penalty shoot-outs:

Goalkeeper Penalties Faced Penalties Saved Penalties Conceded Penalties Missed (not inc. saves) Saving Percentage
Jordan Pickford 16 4 11 1 25%
David Seaman 15 2 12 1 13%
Peter Shilton 4 0 4 0 0%
Paul Robinson 5 0 3 2 0%
Joe Hart 5 0 4 1 0%
David James 7 0 6 1 0%

Of the penalties England have stopped, three of these have been aimed at the keeper’s bottom left – with eight penalties being aimed there, it’s by far the most successful area of the goal for saving penalties, saving 38% of shots aimed that way.

However, the data shows that opposition takers tend to aim to the keeper’s bottom right – with 16 out of the 52 penalties England have faced (31%) aiming there – meaning Pickford might feel it’s better advice to dive down low to his right, and increase the probability of picking the correct direction.

Despite facing eight shots from left-footed players, England are yet to save a lefty penalty, and just one of the eight has not resulted in a goal, Hugo Viana hitting the post for Portugal at the World Cup in 2004.

A spokesperson for Bonuscodebets.co.uk said: “After years of heartbreak, we’ve finally found the formula to help England through their dreaded shootouts – avoid the bottom right corner, stick with right footers, and make sure that you have Jordan Pickford in goal.

“England have won only three penalty shootouts in their history – and even though two of them have been under Gareth Southgate, let’s hope he uses our formula to give the Three Lions the edge in Germany!”

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