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Gareth Southgate’s men rack up the air miles

With England touching down in Russia yesterday, and the World Cup set to kick off tomorrow, it seems a rather long journey to the final, in more ways than one, with crunching the numbers to find out which teams have to cover the most miles to play their respective group games.

Gareth Southgate’s men rack up the air miles

Unlucky Sweden will be clocking up the most distance, with their group stage tally amounting to a whopping 3550km. The trip from their first to second game (Nizhny Novgorod Stadium to Olympic Stadium Fisht) alone comes to a tiring 1796km – almost 400km longer than Land’s End to John O’Groats.

At the other end of the table sit Colombia – who face a leisurely group stage travel distance of just 603km.

Granted, they did have to travel around 12,000 miles to get to Russia in the first place, but once the tournament gets underway, they can quite literally rest assured that they are in a fortunate position.

To put this good fortune into further perspective, the next team behind Colombia in terms of having the least miles to cover is Denmark, whose total group stage travel distance (1207km) is more than double that of the South American nation.

England’s distance of 2328km across the group stage puts them in 14th position in the air miles table – though Gareth Southgate will hope to keep the Three Lions travelling across Russia well into July as he attempts to reach the final.

With Russia being such a vast country, nations who make the knockout stages will be clocking up the air miles rapidly – though will have the option to remain at their tournament bases, or travel from city to city, depending on the draw.

All of the sides will have to cover considerable ground in the group stage first, though, both in their air and on the pitch.