As Cameroon and Croatia prepare to take on the stifling heat of Manaus this evening concern still lingers on precisely why so many England players succumbed to cramp up in the Amazonas of northern Brazil.

The gifs that appeared showing a 35 year old Pirlo strolling around unhindered while Sturridge and Sterling – young enough to call the bearded great ‘papa’ –  lay in agony on the turf may have been amusing but this does not bode well for our lions’ ability to cope with the heat and humidity in South America.

A report by SOS Rehydration reveals that just 2% dehydration can decrease a player’s performance by 20%, a worrying stat that proves this issue could be the difference between ultimate glory and boarding the first plane home.

So what are the answers? While there are no magic recipes Dr Blanca Lizaola attests that traditional sports drinks have little impact (too much sugar and too little electrolytes) and it’swith  the need to rehydrate quickly that SOS Hydration really comes to the fore. It has even been compared to an IV drip!

Whatever the strategy employed by England’s medical team it failed last Saturday and all eyes will be on Hodgson’s starting XI tomorrow evening and whether they last the full 90. If they don’t questions will be asked because in the harsh climes of Brazil – and with Qatar searing on the distant horizon – it’s not just the footballing performances of Rooney and co that will help make dreams come true.

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