International breaks are about as much fun as being stuck in a lift with James Corden, but, like Corden's face and voice, are something we unfortunately have to deal with on a regular fucking basis. Fuck Carpool karaoke. What a bag of shite, that is.
Anyway, this week has thrown us up the SECOND international break of the season. Y'know, the season that's not even two months old yet. Anyway, at least someone somwhere had the common decency to get England's 90 minutes of woefulness out of the way early doors. Now Gareth Southgate's men have secured their group stage/round of 16 exit in Russia next summer, absolutely no one needs to put themselves through the atrocity that will be Sunday's trip to Lithuania.
What this weekend does provide us with the opportunity to do though, apart from take part in the rather brilliant Non League Day, is to keep a set of international fixtures that we may otherwise be non-plussed about at least a little bit interesting.
In Group A of European qualifying, Luxembourg may have fucked everyone's world up when they drew with France during the last international break, but it may be too much to ask for them to repeat the trick against Sweden, tomorrow evening. Then again, you'll get next to fuck all odds on a home win for the Swedes, who currently sit in second place in the group, so why not lump a tenner on Luxembourg to nab another surprise point? Most bookies offer as big as 20/1.
Elsewhere in the group, expect the Netherlands (1/3) to see off lowly Belarus, even if the Dutch are essentially a working men's club tribute to Netherlands teams of the past, at this point, meandering from one disappointment to the next, each one less shocking than the last.
This Netherlands team, in their current state, would have a better chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup than the current team. Image: PA
France (1/3) will beat Bulgaria while in Group B, Cristiano Ronaldo will likely fill his boots against Andorra, so make sure you've stuck a hat-trick for the Real Madrid phenom on your coupon at 3/1 and, while you're at it, back Switzerland and Hungary to play out a bore draw for the ages (0-0 12/1).
About eight goals for this bloke, this weekend. At least. Image: PA
Speaking of draws, an already qualified Belgium without Romelu Lukaku might find an away trip to a talented Bosnia team a bit too much of a challenge to be bothered about and will likely roll over as a result. And fuck it, while you're at it, bang a quid on Gibraltar to nick a draw at home to Estonia at 7/1. Just ignore their -34 goal difference.
If your accumulator is lacking a couple of bankers, Czech Republic and Germany are your lads on Sunday, with home games against San Marino and Azerbaijan respectively. And back Northern Ireland to keep the dream alive with an away victory in Norway at 2/1. Jonny Evans double (150/1). Allow it.
Thank me on Monday morning when you've won so much money you've accidentally ordered every SHOOT annual and a completed Euro '96 England coins commemorative book off Ebay for about £300 more than their actually worth.
As always, please remember to bet responsibly. begambleaware.org
Featured Image Credit: PA