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Germany v England

James: I've done my homework on pens

June 26, 2010
By Soccernet staff

David James believes England will beat Germany without the ordeal of another penalty shoot-out. But if it does come down to spot kicks, he is ready after spending time studying the way the likely German penalty-takers perform.

David James England presser
GettyImagesDavid James experienced penalty shooout heartache against Portugal at Euro 2004

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"The key issue with penalties is the homework," James said. "At Euro 2004 in Portugal, I think it has been documented we did not have access to as much information as we could have done, so it is a homework issue and I'm confident we have got that right this time."

To help, the Football Association has had two consultants assemble footage of the Germans' penalties in recent years. "It was first highlighted after the opening group game against France in 2004 when there wasn't any video evidence of [Zinedine] Zidane taking a penalty for two years. He ended up scoring the winner.

"But now you sit there and do your homework. You think you know what the guy is going to do then, at some point in the game, you hope you get the chance to prove you were right. The homework doesn't guarantee success, but you hope it gives you a little something.

"I had Frank Lampard sussed in the FA Cup final, and was gutted he missed the target. Part of me wished Slovenia had got a penalty in the last minute so I could have saved it."

While admitting the pressure on the England squad is intense, he said they were managing to block out much of the pre-match hype.

"It is another football match. Obviously there will be a lot of external and historical references, but for us it is a game against a decent outfit and one we have to win to progress. Germany are a decent outfit but we have got the confidence of having gone to Berlin a couple of years ago and beaten them 2-1.

"For us as a squad it is about 23 men and their strengths and weaknesses. If we get carried away with it being about Germany, that might be detrimental. We have to be focused on it as a match."