Will Premier League players match pre-break fitness levels?
Thursday 28 May 2020 15:25, UK
Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich scored a delightful winner to secure a 1-0 win over title rivals Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday and set a club record for distance covered with 13.73km - but how does that compare with distances covered by Premier League players?
No player in England's top flight has surpassed the yards covered by Kimmich this term, with Wolves' Leander Dendoncker holding the current record of 13.21 km during the goalless stalemate with Brighton in March.
In fact, Dele Alli, James Milner, Tomas Soucek and Bernardo Silva are among a group of only five players to break the lung-busting 13km threshold in a game this season.
In terms of each club's top runner in a game this season, all 20 are midfielders - but Alli's record distance was achieved in a striker role during Spurs' 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in January.
Across the entire season, Southampton workhorse James Ward-Prowse has covered a league-topping 334.6km - the equivalent of running eight marathons or the distance from St Mary's Stadium to Paris as the crow flies.
West Ham's Declan Rice is behind his fellow England international on 317.2km, followed by Abdoulaye Doucoure (309.6km), Jack Cork (304.3km), Roberto Firmino (301.9km), James McCarthur (297.3km) and Ashley Westwood (296.8km).
Sheffield United trio Oliver Norwood, Jack O'Connell and Chris Basham all make the top 10 - underlining the hard graft fostered under Chris Wilder - while Cork and Westwood represent Burnley among the elite distances.
In terms of each club's top runner this season, defenders Cesar Azpilicueta, Jonny Evans, Harry Maguire and Toby Alderweireld top the pack at Chelsea, Leicester, Manchester United and Spurs, respectively.
Forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Richarlison, Firmino and Miguel Almiron lead the way at Arsenal, Everton, Liverpool and Newcastle, with midfielders clocking record distances at the remaining clubs.
Interestingly, three clubs fighting relegation have covered the most distance this season in Brighton, Norwich and Bournemouth.
The Seagulls have covered more turf than any other side with 3,260km - the equivalent of a direct trip from the Amex to Greenland in the Arctic Circle.
Indeed, Graham Potter's men have also broken this season's record for distance covered in a game with 119km during the 3-2 win over Everton in December.
With a Premier League restart imminent, will players maintain fitness levels recorded before the enforced break?
A drop-off is likely: the average distance covered by Bundesliga teams has declined since the restart - with the exception of Kimmich's record-breaking shift on Tuesday.