England 48/1 with Coral to reach semis and face penalty shoot-out
Coral’s World Cup countdown is gathering momentum. There are less than seven weeks until the finals in Brazil kick off, and their latest special bet concerns England performing admirably on South American soil.
Odds of 48/1 say Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions will reach the semi-finals and that match will end up in a penalty shoot-out. These lethal lotteries have been far from kind to the Home Nation historically.
Penalties evoke memories of Stuart Pearce’s darkest day in an England shirt and subsequent redemption, David Beckham kicking more turf than football and a woeful Gareth Southgate effort.
Shoot-outs always seem to go against the grain of sport’s dogma as a team game. The emphasis is switched to the individual. Outfield players are cast as villains for missing spot-kicks, while goalkeepers are hailed as heroes.
The Three Lions last reached the semis of a major tournament when they hosted Euro 96. An encounter with bitter rivals Germany had to be decided by this method.
England have bowed out of two of the last three major tournaments (2006 World Cup and Euro 2012) in shoot-outs, so their recent record is poor.
Reaching the semi-finals in Brazil would be a major achievement for Hodgson, and for once may be exceeding expectations.
As tough as the Three Lions’ group is, Italian pragmatism could easily backfire, while Uruguay are top-heavy with weaknesses aplenty to exploit at the back. Confidence would be sky high if England earned favourable results here, and that would be taken into the knockout phase.
Key an eye on Coral for even more special bets in the run-up to the World Cup.