At the very least, if England finds itself in another dreaded penalty shootout when it faces Germany in the Round of 16 Sunday, it will be prepared.
Head coach Fabio Capello already has named his starting five.
Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, James Milner and Gareth Barry will reportedly carry the weight of a success-starved nation on their collective shoulders should the game be decided by penalty kicks. Good luck, fellas.
England, quite famously, has lost the penalty kick duel in three of its past four World Cup appearances (1990-Germany, 1998-Argentina and 2006-Portugal). In 2006, the Three Lions exited in the quarterfinals and missed three of their four kicks. Lampard and Gerrard were among the guilty.
Capello sought the help of England's U-21 coach Stuart Pearce, who has devised a stat-happy way of ensuring an England victory. England's players have been practicing for over a month and Pearce and his team of statisticians have analyzed which methods and spots have produced the most favorable results.
Of course, according to The Guardian, Germany rarely misses. From its story:
"The Germans have not missed a penalty in a World Cup shoot-out since Uli Stielike against France in 1982 – they have fluffed only two ever – scoring all 12 of their efforts en route to eliminating Mexico in 1986, England in 1990 and Argentina in 2006. Lukas Podolski's miss in the recent loss to Serbia was their first failure in 18 attempts, and they had not passed up a World Cup penalty in normal time since 1974."
Like I said, good luck fellas.