LUIS ENRIQUE has got his Spain side practising their spot kicks in training after their recent woes from twelve yards.
Daily Mail Spanish football expert Pete Jenson reports that even David De Gea is getting his eye in from the spot should any of Spain’s remaining Euro 2020 fixtures be decided on penalties.
Manchester United shot-stopper David De Gea will be hoping that he won’t be needed from twelve yards in the event of penalties in Spain’s last-16 tie against Croatia after his missed penalty in the Europa League final last month handed Villarreal the trophy.
An incredible 21 players had converted their spot kicks in the Europa League final in Gdansk before David De Gea stepped up and missed to give Villarreal an incredible 11-10 win on penalties.
It’s unlikely De Gea will have to endure the nightmare of penalty taking duty though if it comes to it as he is second-choice Spain keeper behind Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper Unai Simon.
Spain boss Luis Enrique has reportedly been organising mock penalty shoot-outs in training, which have included practise kicks for goalkeepers De Gea, Simon and Robert Sanchez of Brighton.
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The Euro 1964, 2008 and 2012 winners are in woeful form from twelve yards out, missing their last FIVE penalties in a row.
That includes two spot kicks this tournament, with Alvaro Morata failing to convert against Slovakia in Spain’s last group game, and Gerard Moreno hitting the post against Poland in the game before.
Enrique is said to have picked out four penalty takers in Gerard Moreno, Morata, Sergio Busquets and Koke, but that still leaves him short in the event of a penalty shootout.
2010 World Cup winners Spain take on Croatia tomorrow at 5pm in Copenhagen for a place in the last-eight of Euro 2020, where a clash with the winners of France vs Switzerland awaits.
Spain could only finish as runners-up in Group E behind Sweden, and were not even guaranteed of their place in the last-sixteen until the 5-0 drubbing of Slovakia on matchday three.
Their opening game was a drab 0-0 draw against group winners Sweden before a 1-1 draw with Poland saw them needing a win against Slovakia to guarantee progression to the last 16 of the tournament.
Should Spain beat Croatia tomorrow and either France/Switzerland in the last-eight, they would set up a mouthwatering clash against the winners of Belgium/Portugal vs Italy.
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