England's players will be at a disadvantage before they even kick a ball at the Euros.

Gareth Southgate will fly out to Germany knowing that no squad at the tournament will have left more minutes out on the pitch over the course of the season than the one he has selected to bring home the trophy.

Manchester City ’s Phil Foden played 61 games for club and country. Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka of Arsenal made 58 and 51 appearances respectively. But as the debate over player welfare and the risks of injury and burn-out continues to rage, England will be using the cutting-edge technology of a leading sports science and performance intelligence company to keep Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and Co healthy.

Kitman Labs have the power to collect and collate thousands of statistics and data readings that will keep Southgate and his staff fully informed about the physical condition of the 26-man squad as the tournament unfolds.

Stephen Smith, founder and CEO of Kitman Labs, explained: “The average number of minutes played by the players in England’s squad is the highest of any team who will be at the Euros.

Gareth Southgate's squad could be running on empty in Germany (
Image:
The FA via Getty Images)

“And according to the bookies, the biggest threat to England actually winning the tournament will be France. When you realise the French players will have played on average around 10 percent less than Gareth Southgate’s squad, it becomes clear how important it will be for him to manage and rotate his team.

“The best teams will all have two or three key players who will have played more games and minutes for their clubs during the season - and it is hugely important to keep them fit and performing at their optimum level when the gap between games is so restricted over an intense five-week period.

“When you put athletes through a number of really tough physical exposures in a short space of time, that clearly puts them under greater risk of injury.

“It also limits the amount of time that coaches have to work with players on the training pitch. It means the ability to access the information you need to protect your athletes can often be the difference between winning and losing. That’s the role we can play.”

Players’ physical stats are now measured during training sessions and in competitive games as a matter of course.

Southgate could be concerned about Bukayo Saka's workload (
Image:
The FA via Getty Images)

But turning hard numbers into the kind of lucid information that can be accessed by coaches is the moment when knowledge becomes power.

Kitman Labs have developed partnerships in all four corners of the sporting world, from the Premier League to the NFL and NBA.

They work with every single Premier League academy, as well as the first team squads of Chelsea, Fulham and Ipswich and newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen.

Phil Foden has played 61 games for club and country this season (
Image:
Getty Images)

Smith said: “Players wear sensors that might pick up 200 or 300 different metrics. It’s not just the basics of measuring distance ran. It’s about the number of accelerations and decelerations, the intensity of those increases in speed, changes of direction. That’s just from one device.

“We also collect things like hormonal markers, blood markers, information on stress and sleep, biomechanical data and motion information. .

“It means teams will have thousands of data points on players processing after every game and training session. Multiply that by the 23 players in your squad and it soon becomes very complex.

“The ability to identify that vast reservoir of information quickly is a really powerful tool. We give coaches the ability to ingest the information they need to make the best informed decisions.”