FOOTBALL - We could see penalty shootouts for the first time at Euro 2012 matches and we have made a prediction on what is going on in the minds of each penalty taker. We will present all eight goalkeepers with a penalty cheat sheet. Click Read More to see Joe Hart’s. He is hoping to stop Italy.
Penalty cheat sheet
1. Antonio Di Natale
Italy’s most experienced penalty taker in their current squad is Antonio Di Natale. Back home, he is remembered for a vital miss in the Euro 2008 quarterfinal shootout against Spain, when he chose his less favoured bottom right corner. We expect him to look for redemption and opt for the bottom left corner. He strikes with great force, so try to get an early step on him. And dive to your right.
2. Daniele De Rossi
De Rossi has not taken a penalty since August 2008. His preference is shooting towards the top left corner and he has also had his most success there. If his shot is on target, it will take a special dive to your right to make the save. With him, there is always the chance that his shot is off target as well.
3. Antonio Cassano
He is a rare breed, being a taker that does not include the goalkeeper’s actions in his decision making, however neither shows a strong preference for one of the corners. Just dive to your right as Fernando Muslera does here and you will be right more often than not.
4. Andrea Pirlo
Accurate right-footed taker that has a propensity for shooting towards the bottom left corner. Forget about the odd one he puts up top. If he takes one like this, it will be almost impossible to save anyway.
5. Mario Balotelli
He has never missed any of his nine penalties in official matches and we feel because it is a) he is a very strong taker and b) he is seldom seriously challenged. He will let the goalkeeper decide where he goes. Fake a dive to your right and then go to your left. But postpone your fake to sell it credibly to him.
6. Sebastian Giovinco
He will not engage the goalkeeper and he will put it low. Has no clear preference. Probably best to dive to your left.
7. Alessandro Diamanti
Maybe better to ask Rob Green about the season he spent with Diamanti at West Ham and Rob must have faced him many times at practice. Our research shows that Diamanti is a left-footed taker with a preference for his bottom right corner (your left).
8. Thiago Motta
Not an experienced penalty taker, but could step up here. We suspect he will slot it bottom left, so dive to your right.
Penalty analysis by Infostrada Sports Group. Special thanks to Mickey van Lingen, our friend Jeroen (@DieLucht) and the good people at @ShowMeFootball.