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England stopper Jordan Pickford could be axed for penalty shoot-out in favour of Nick Pope


Gareth Southgate is planning a risky penalty strategy (Picture: EPA)

Gareth Southgate is considering whether to hook Jordan Pickford should England’s last-16 World Cup clash with Colombia go to penalties.

England have a woeful record in shoot-outs, the worst of any World Cup side, and have not won a knockout game since 2006.

Harry Kane and co will be aiming to end 12 years of knockout heartbreak against Colombia on Tuesday night.

Spain vs Russia and Croatia vs Denmark went to penalties and once again, it was a goalkeeper who stepped up to save the day.

Croatia’s Danijel Subasic saved three spot-kicks to send his country into the quarter-finals, while Igor Akinfeev saved two penalties for Russia as well as the deciding strike from Iago Aspas.

Pickford has yet to keep a clean sheet in the tournament, but Southgate has repeatedly backed his No.1.

Jordan Pickford is Southgate’s No.1 goalkeeper (Picture: Reuters)
Nick Pope is staking a claim to be England’s penalty goalkeeper (Picture: AP)

MORE: How England could line up against Colombia in World Cup last-16 clash

But, the Mirror claim Southgate is plotting a risky penalty strategy which would see Burnely’s Pope come on for Pickford.

It is unusual for head coaches to have prefer back-up goalkeepers to their No.1’s for spot-kicks, but it has been done in the World Cup before.

Netherlands boss Louis Van Gaal stunned onlookers when he substituted Jasper Cillessen in the final seconds against Costa Rica in their World Cup 2014 quarter-final clash.

Pope may be called on from the bench (Picture: Getty)
(Picture: AP)

Tim Krul came on and saved two penalties to secure the Netherlands’ progression and the decision was hailed as a stroke of genius after the game.

In England’s case, Pope has proven himself to be the squad’s best penalty saver, despite currently being the third choice stopper in Southgate’s side as Jack Butland is ahead of Pope in the pecking order.

But, Pope has three inches on Pickford and there is a serious chance he will be used in the event of a shoot-out.

England seem to have already picked their penalty takers with Harry Kane, Jesse Lingard, Kieran Trippier, Jordan Henderson and Ashley Young volunteering to take on the responsibility.

MORE: James Rodriguez a major doubt to start in England’s clash with Colombia

MORE: How Colombia could line up against England in World Cup last-16 clash





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