The evil paranoia plant has taken root in the heart of Camp Uruguay during the build up to their do-or-die Group D duel against England.
Already heavy favourites at 21/20, punters keen on backing the Three Lions will be heartened by the knowledge of the sinister events that have been unfolding around their adversaries in recent days.
Omen numero uno: The Dulche du Leche saga
Forever associated with the lowest moment in Brazilian footballing history – they beat the Selecao on home turf in the 1950 World Cup final – Uruguay should really have expected some skulduggery upon their return.
Their squad’s morale was victim to a devastating blow when their beloved caramel spread was not accompanied by documentation satisfactory for the host nation’s authorities to allow it into the country.
Spookily, defeat against Costa Rica followed…
Omen numero dos: Injury and indiscipline have cut swathes through the squad
First came Luis Suarez’s training ground knee injury, the blame for which was apportioned to a challenge by Newcastle’s English defender Paul Dummet in the last game of the Premier League campaign by the former’s suspicious compatriots.
The Liverpool man may allegedly be back to full fitness, but experienced centre-half Diego Lugano has replaced him in the treatment room.
Meanwhile 91-cap full-back Maxi Perreira’s hare-brained kick at Joel Campbell means he’s suspended for the fixture, with caramel withdrawal symptoms the suspected cause.
Omen numero tres: Night of the termites
Members of Oscar Tabarez’s side woke up in the middle of the night before their Group D opener to find their beds alive with creepy crawlies, leading even local police to suggest foul play…