IT’S the hoop that gets you…
The Three Lions’ hopes of finally emulating their 1966 triumph will be slam sunk, morale wise, if they fail to win that Group B clash.
But boss Gareth Southgate took the heat off his squad by adjusting to the sweltering conditions.
England players toiled in the Thursday morning sun before varying their routine with a move inside at the Al Wakrah Stadium.
The Three Lions swapped sweating buckets for netting baskets, with Declan Rice showing the composure of an NBA pro as he calmly popped in some hoops.
But Trent Alexander-Arnold wore the broadest smile as he jigged his way through a footwork routine.
James Maddison, however, had to skip the full session in another way – as he is nursing his knee back to full fitness.
But he was comfortable enough to take part in Thursday’s training.
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And fellow defender Conor Coady insists the Three Lions are unfazed by the extreme temperatures.
The Everton hero said: “Training this morning was fantastic. It’s a different environment. We want to enjoy it – it’s a World Cup.
“We must not think about the heat or worry about it. Let’s enjoy playing in the sun – we do not get it too much at home so we must enjoy it.”