England begin their World Cup campaign on Tuesday morning (AEST) but one big issue has blighted their preparations in Russia.
Gareth Southgate’s team are gearing up for a clash with Tunisia in Volgograd and have to make a mammoth 1,600km journey for the fixture.
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The game kicks off at 9pm local time and don’t be surprised if there are one or two bleary-eyed England players taking to the field.
That’s because the Three Lions’ base in Repino has one major drawback despite offering the team maximum privacy.
Sam Cunningham, writing for i News, reports that almost constant daylight is disrupting the squad’s sleep at the Forrestmix Club hotel.
The sun does not set until 11.30pm at night and rises at 3am making it difficult for the team to get rest at their base outside Saint Petersburg.
Blackout blinds have been fitted to rooms but Cunningham claims the preventative measures have not fully solved the issue and left England with a far from ideal build-up.
Boss Southgate gave a detailed explanation of why Repino was chosen as a base for the Three Lions prior to the tournament.
He said: “We went through a long process in terms of looking at the venues available.
“We wanted to get the right balance around the location in terms of travel, in terms of climate, and the quality of the training ground that is paired with that. It was important for us that we had a hotel with exclusive use.
“We want to mix and engage with the local community but equally it’s important to have a base where the players can relax and switch off without being disturbed. And the reality is within a tournament, security is important as well.
“You can’t get the perfect scenario that ticks every box. Climate, travel, training ground, distance to the training ground, distance from the hotel to the airport.
“The longest flight would be three hours. That’s nothing – all the players are travelling that sort of distance for Champions League games.”
England’s players have already been told the starting XI for the Tunisia game in a bid to ease anxiety before the big kick-off.
Nine players are set to make their World Cup debuts for the Three Lions while Harry Kane will wear the captain’s armband in Russia.
Matt Lewis – Yahoo Sports UK