Getting your hopes up is dangerous game. Like a 90s child hoping for a SNES for Christmas and ending up with a Game Gear, or a big Gavin And Stacey fan looking forward to James Corden’s solo stand-up tour, it’s likely to result in crushing disappointment.

Not to put too much of a dampener on it, but today’s opening game of the World Cup between hosts South Africa and Mexico might not be the thrill-fest we’re all hoping for.

It’s hardly a glamorous start to the competition on paper, but more to the point opening games are historically, well, a bit rubbish. 2006 saw an uncharacteristically exciting 4-2 win for Germany over Costa Rica but in the five tournaments before that we’ve had three 1-0s and just 1.6 goals per game on average.

The smart money’s on another cagey game today and StanJames.com is offering attractive odds of 6/4 that the game will be goalless before half time.

South Africa are the lowest ranked host nation ever, sitting below footballing powerhouses like Iraq and Panama in FIFA’s latest rankings. There’s every possibility they’ll fail to score in three group games before going out. StanJames.com will give you 6/1.

Bets of the day:
0-0 at half time: 6/4
Two goals or less after 90 minutes: 4/7
South Africa to go out of the tournament in the group stage: 1/3
South Africa to fail to score a goal in the whole tournament: 6/1

Bet on these and plenty of other World Cup markets at StanJames.com