England played its first match in South Africa on Monday — an easy 3-0 warm-up victory over club side Platinum Stars. Jermain Defoe, who only played the first half, scored the opening goal. After the match, he admitted that the team's altitude training in Austria didn't fully prepare him for the thin air they're breathing in South Africa. Says Defoe via Football 365:
"It was quite difficult to breathe out there to be honest.
"We are higher up than when in Austria for the training camp so altitude is going to play a major part.
"It felt a lot harder in terms of breathing and getting your recovery.
"It was quite difficult to get your breath back.
"But we will get used to that and we feel prepared for Saturday. Mentally we are prepared, physically we are prepared."
Yeah, difficulty breathing is never something to worry about. Although, that problem may not be entirely up to the altitude. Having Wayne Rooney choke you out from behind probably doesn't help much, either.
But throwing issues with the altitude on top of the general injury apocalypse going on right now and it seems like there's a good chance this weekend's matches could look like nap time at remedial kindergarten class — just bodies everywhere.
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