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Germany U21 ‘will NOT practise penalties ahead showdown with England’

Date Posted,June 26, 2017

Cocky Germany have not practised penalties for their Euro U21 semi final clash with England – who have been rehearsing for weeks, writes Simon Bird in Krakow.

Stefan Kuntz, the U21 coach, has taken an amazingly relaxed approach to a potential shoot-out in the Euro U21 semi final.

While England have held a shoot-out dress rehearsal in a behind closed doors match with Iceland before the tournament, and practised after training, Germany have done no extra preparation.

Asked why German teams always have the edge against England in the shoot-out, coach Kuntz said: “Well we will soon find out if Germany is better at penalties! It makes for grey hair for the coach. Pressure is high.

“But no, we won’t practise.

Stefan Kuntz speaks to the press (Photo: Getty)
Stefan Kuntz and Julian Pollersbeck of Germany (Photo: Getty)
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“The circumstances of running for 120 minutes and the pressure of the situation you can create it. It makes no sense to train penalties.”

Boothroyd has taken a different approach. Keeper Jordan Pickford has analysed rivals kicks and England coaches have for several tournaments made sure players have data on their most effective kick.

Boothroyd said: “History suggests they (Germany) don’t need to practise! It is difficult to recreate the fatigue. But we have practised and have done since May.

Pickford saves a penalty against Sweden (Photo: Getty)
Lewis Baker scores from the spot (Photo: Rex Features)

Asked by a German reporter if England had penalty kick trauma, Boothroyd said: “No, not in this tournament. We are ready and focused. But there is 120 minutes to play, and we shouldn’t lose focus on that.”

England missed just once in seven kicks in their Iceland test.

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