Harry Kane will change will nothing about his penalty routine if he has to take a spot-kick against Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris during England’s World Cup quarter-final with France.
England captain Kane will lead the Three Lions against a Les Bleus team skippered by goalkeeper Lloris at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday.
Gareth Southgate’s men will be underdogs against the defending world champions in a knockout game that predictably brings questions around penalties.
Though Kane and Lloris have played together at domestic level since 2011, when the England striker made his Spurs debut, lining up for a penalty against his club captain represents a largely unfamiliar experience for the 2018 Golden Boot winner.
“Surprisingly, I haven’t practiced too much against Hugo, normally when I practice it’s against the second or third-choice goalkeeper,” Kane told a press conference.
“The starting goalkeeper normally doesn’t join in the practice the day before the game which is when I practice.
“Of course, we’ve taken them before, but I wouldn’t say I’ve taken loads and loads against him.
“I have similar situations when I’m in the Premier League and I face England goalkeepers, I stick to my process and routine, go through the same training day before the game and hopefully try and deliver if called upon in the match.
“I’m someone who always backs myself in any situation against any goalkeeper, but I’ve seen Hugo pull off some fantastic saves.
“Hopefully I’ll have some chances I’ll be able to put away, but also I know I’ll have to be at the top of my game to do that against one of the best goalkeepers there is.”
11 –has now scored 11 goals at major tournaments for England (7 World Cup, 4 Euros), overtaking (10) as the Three Lions’ all-time top scorer in such competitions. Historic.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe)
Asked about his relationship with Lloris, Kane said: “I haven’t spoken with Hugo before this match. Me and Hugo have a great relationship.
“We’ve been playing with each other a long, long time now. We spend some time away from football as well with our wives and families.
“He’s a really good guy, one of the best goalkeepers in the world. For a game like this, we’re not friends for that day for sure, we go to have a good battle against each other.
“It’ll be two great teams going at it. I’ve known Hugo a long time, I can’t speak highly enough of him. I’ll enjoy playing against him if we win, but I know he’ll be doing everything to make France win.”
Southgate confirmed England have a plan for the shoot-out but is well aware of how quickly those preparations can be altered in the heat of the moment.
“We have a plan but when you get to the end of a game maybe some players don’t feel as confident or feel more confident or have an injury,” said the England boss.
“All of those things have happened in the previous shoot-outs that we’ve had. We are as well prepared as we can be.”