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Qatar 2022

Gareth Southgate: England mentally and physically prepared for penalties

England's penalty-shootout demons may return to haunt them against Senegal if they are not prepared

England players console Bukayo Saka after his penalty miss in Euro 2020
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England have been involved in three penalty shootouts since 2016. They defeated Colombia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia before overcoming Switzerland in the Nations League a year later

Their most recent shootout ended in defeat against Italy in the Euro 2020 final last summer. However, England boss Southgate believes his players are ready for the prospect of penalties against the African champions as they aim to advance to the World Cup quarter-final.

"We're prepared. We've had a process that we've followed," Southgate said at his pre-match press conference.

"We've won two of three shootouts and looked at how we can improve but there are so many other aspects we have to get right”

"We're aiming to win the game in 90 minutes and to avoid extra time and penalties. But if we need to go beyond that we have to be ready mentally and physically. I believe we are."

They scored six set-piece goals in seven matches four years ago in Russia, two of which put them ahead in both the quarter-final and semi-final. England, who have scored nine goals in total so far in Qatar, have only managed two from set-pieces.

"We have not been as effective from set-pieces as we would have liked to have been yet, so there is definitely more improvement needed from us on that” Southgate said.

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