IF ENGLAND get a free-kick at the World Cup, only one man should be in contention to take it.

And it’s not Harry Kane, not Mason Mount and not even set-piece specialists James Maddison or Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Harry Kane has a dire record from direct free-kicks

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Harry Kane has a dire record from direct free-kicksCredit: Alamy
James Maddison has scored eight Premier League free-kicks including two this term

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James Maddison has scored eight Premier League free-kicks including two this termCredit: Getty

Instead, their best chance of scoring comes from Kieran Trippier.

The Newcastle full-back boasts the finest record of them all.

In top-flight football, Trippier has scored four direct free-kicks from 25 efforts.

That works out as a conversion rate of 16 per cent.

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In fact, those are his last four goals in the Premier League – including three since joining Newcastle in January – and eight of his 13 club goals were from dead ball situations.

And that tally pips Mount’s return of five from 36 (14 per cent) and even Maddison on 13 per cent.

The Leicester ace’s first professional goal at Coventry was a free-kick way back in October 2014.

Since then he has beaten the wall a further 15 times – including eight from 61 efforts in the Premier League and two this season.

Maddison has scored the most free-kick goals of the English group in top-flight club football.

Alexander-Arnold is on four from 50 attempts (eight per cent) while Kane’s return of one from 54 works out as less than two per cent.

Trippier, meanwhile, has experience of scoring a free-kick at the World Cup thanks to his stunning effort in the semi-final against Croatia four years ago.

And the defender, who could play at right-back, left-back or wing-back in Qatar, backs himself to deliver the goods again this winter – if he can convince Maddison to let him take one.

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Trippier said: “He’s probably one of the best in the world, Madders.

“If we’re both playing and he wants a free kick, we’ll just have to do rock, paper, scissors on the pitch!

“To be fair to Jason Tindall and Eddie Howe, we spend a lot of time on the pitch on set plays, corners, wide free kicks, and we’ve managed to score quite a few this season from set plays.

“You look in major tournaments over the years and the amount of games won from decisive set pieces. They’re absolutely crucial.

“We’ve got the delivery and the presence to get on the end of them for England.”

Trippier is battling with Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker, Ben White and Luke Shaw to start for the Three Lions – and the ex-Atletico star is confident of success for Gareth Southgate’s side.

Trippier added to The Times: “We shouldn’t be going into a tournament scared of saying we want to win it.

“We should go there with that winning mindset to win the tournament and don’t be afraid to say it.

“We want to go one step further to actually win a tournament.

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“We all feel confident as a group, we’ve got a fantastic 26-man squad — unbelievable talent in there, a mixture of experience and youth.

“I will give everything for the cause, the shirt, no matter where I play.”

Kieran Trippier scored against Croatia in the 2018 semi-final

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Kieran Trippier scored against Croatia in the 2018 semi-finalCredit: Reuters
He has chipped in with another three free-kicks for Newcastle

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He has chipped in with another three free-kicks for NewcastleCredit: Getty



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