England to benefit from Sweden’s travel fatigue
Not only does Extra Time cause every fan’s stress levels to go through the roof, but it is also detrimental to the players’ fatigue levels during the game and in preparation for the next one. Since England’s victory on penalties over Colombia on Tuesday, the whole country has been celebrating, whereas the team will have been concentrating on recovering in time for their Quarter Final game vs Sweden in Samara on 7th July.
Because of this, most would expect Sweden to be more physically prepared for this match, but this may not be the case. The reason is that no team left in the FIFA World Cup have travelled further than Sweden. See below for a detailed look at their journey so far.
Their training camp is located in the very south of the country, in the holiday resort area of Gelendzhik. The camp is relatively close to where Sweden played the second game of their schedule vs Germany in Sochi, but aside from that, no other game that they have played is closer than 1,000 miles away. This has resulted in Sweden having travelled 29 hours prior to their match against England, who have travelled for ten hours less.
Air travel affects the performance of footballers in several ways. Crossing time zones adversely affects their circadian rhythm and reduced oxygen pressure in aircraft cabins produces a hypoxic effect, meaning that the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply at the tissue level. Also, sitting in a seat for numerous hours while on the aircraft could produce lethargic limbs.
As match preparation relies on so many different factors, travel fatigue is just one influence. Only time will tell, and we will soon find out who of England and Sweden will progress to the semi-finals. We wish both teams the absolute best of luck for the match.
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