The array of attacking talent headed for Brazil this summer, alongside the presence of several written-off minnow nations, makes it all to easy to assume there’ll be at least one hat-trick scored at the World Cup.
To assume, as the old adage dictates, makes an ass of you ‘n’ me and the relevance of these wise words refuses to wane here.
The 2/5 about at least one player earning a match ball during the tournament isn’t exactly one for the working man to be wading in on, but he really needn’t bother with plenty of value to be had on the 13/10 about the cupboards being entirely bereft of hat-tricks this summer.
Open an account at bwin.com today and line your wagering war chest with a £30 free bet that could trouser a £39 profit if no trebles are registered in Brazil and judging from these stats, we may well be treading the lush, firm ground of banker territory here.
Only three hat-tricks have been scored at World Cups this century, two in the 2002 instalment and one in South Africa last time around.
Despite myriad mullerings in 2006 – there was a 6-0, two 4-0s, a 4-1 and a 4-2 – no player returned from the German jamboree with an orb crammed into their suitcase.
So, should the small fries hold firm in the group-stage as they did eight years back, those to have snapped up that 2/5 about someone celebrating a World Cup hat-trick can pretty much kiss their investment goodbye.
Not one player has given the scoreboard operator three nudges in one match beyond the mini league stage since Italia 90, when Czechoslovakia’s Tomas Skuharvy’s put Costa Rica to the sword in the last-16.
The hat-trick vacuum that is the knockout stage leaves those brave enough to place faith in the short price needing a treble to occur before the groups conclude then, but the a brief perusal of the results in 2010 and it’s clear to see the chances of one occurring are skinnier than a weight-conscious spaghetti strand.
In just eight of the 48 group games to take place in Bafana Bafana’s backyard were more than three goals plundered.