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The distance covered by Russia at the World Cup shows the power of home advantage

The first round of group games have been played and Russia top the list for the most distance covered

We all love footballers putting a shift in.

The first batch of World Cup group games have come and gone and there have been no shortage of subplots so far.

Own goals, set pieces and VAR controversy have very much been the order of play in Russia.


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*Big Mac and a coke*

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*Big Mac and a coke*

The difference between winning and losing can often depend on just how much effort a team put into their performance.

As the host nation, maximum effort is something that is immediately expected of Russia – a department that they certainly haven’t failed to deliver in so far.

The stats behind the average distance covered (metres per minute) per player, from every side’s first group game, have been revealed.

Feast on those numbers…

Russia have so far thrived under the weight of expectation that was placed on them as the host nation.

Stanislav Cherchesov’s side have relished the pressure instead of crumbling like many first thought they would.

The hosts have racked up impressive back-to-back win against Saudi Arabia and Egypt respectively, and have clearly been inspired by the home support.

Aleksandr Golovin and co covered an average of 118.1m per minute, per player, in their opening-day 5-0 demolition of Saudi Arabia.

“And they’ve done it, they’ve covered the most ground!”

EPA
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“And they’ve done it, they’ve covered the most ground!”

Not only did they collectively cover the most ground in their opening game, Russia also have three players inside the top 10 for individual distance covered.

The nation’s poster-boy, Aleksandr Golovin, leads the way with an impressive 12.7km covered.

To put that into comparison, Cristiano Ronaldo covered 8.72km in Portugal’s frantic 3-3 draw with Spain.

Better than Ronaldo

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Better than Ronaldo

Alexander Samedov and Iury Gazinsky make up the rest of the top three, with Roman Zobnin completing the Russian contingent in the top 10.

The evident desire from the hosts to work hard for the whole 90 minutes is likely to have been helped by the support of the home crowd.

The metaphorical 12th man, who Delia Smith famously cried out for on the Carrow Road pitch, has been out in full force for Russia.

It could have been a completely different story however, with the team coming into the tournament shrouded in negativity.

Cherchesov faced the sack before the tournament but is now being called ‘king’… don’t tell Putin

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Cherchesov faced the sack before the tournament but is now being called ‘king’… don’t tell Putin

The supporters have come together and their enthusiasm has been mirrored by the players.

If the Russian fans maintain their support then who knows what the team could achieve this summer.

Surprisingly, Brazil rank third from bottom in the average distance per minute, per player covered so far.

Stop putting pot noodles on your head and put a bloody shift in!

Getty - Contributor
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Stop putting pot noodles on your head and put a bloody shift in!

Tite’s side laboured to a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in their opening game, with an average of just 99.6m.

Iran however covered the least of any team in the tournament in their opening game, with an average distance per minute, per player of 97.4m.

Despite ranking bottom, Iran still managed to register a 1-0 win against Morocco.

Seems a bit unfair.

The football equivalent of doing none of the group work but still getting a good grade

Getty Images - Getty
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The football equivalent of doing none of the group work but still getting a good grade

Imagine the scenes if Russia reached the final.

CATCH UP ON THE LATEST WEIRD AND WONDERFUL NEWS FROM THE 2018 WORLD CUP