Romelu Lukaku has been in red-hot form for Manchester United ahead of their clash against Liverpool. Photo: Reuters

DURBAN – Hola, hola! That international break was hella interesting – quite a change from the norm – as we saw the likes of The Netherlands, Wales and Chile missing out on Russia 2018, while Ireland and those jammy Aussies are sweating on a playoff.

It’s a pity we couldn’t see any of our favourite European players on SuperSport, but had to settle for South American fare at 1am. What are we paying this grand a month for, vele?

Europe is where we concentrate this weekend, across all sporting codes. There’s moolla to be made if you pick them right, my cousin.

The European rugby championship kicks off this weekend (well, last night kahle kahle - I’m sure Pau did the business) with the best on the continent taking each other on.

Ulster vs Wasps is a Saffer fest all round, followed by Leinster against Jake White’s Montpellier – which has got more Du Plessis buggers than the Cheetahs!

Let’s go home team on both here, and stay away from the handicaps. If you don’t go “plus” in the opening week, they may just chow you!

EPL is back on our telly, with a banger upfront between “Mané-less” Scousers hosting Manchester United.

There is nothing between them, according to the books, but what do they know! United to win here, by the odd goal, papa.

Man City take on Stoke, and you should look at goals on both ends and City to win.

We have a London derby, with Palace (7/1) vs Chelski (4/10).

This may be an uphill struggle for the home span, but derbies usually get them up.

The Blues should be too strong, though, but maybe soek for over 2.5 goals.

At that dilly price, I’m going to take a dip on the Eagles!

Swansea host Huddersfield, and you should look at home win or draw, if you are uncertain.

Tottenham (2/10) vs Bournemouth (12/1) serves us England’s mighty skipper Kane on show at Wembley Stadium, where you should bloody well think they finally feel at home.

Problem is that everybody gets up at this mighty venue, and it galvanises even the puzzlers. Go with the Lily white boys but, at that short price, I may be swayed to look at visitors +draw.

La Liga serves up some paprika with Atletico Madrid (18/10) against (nearly) independent Barcelona at 16/10, with the stalemate being 22/10. I mention the latter for a reason – get in!

There’s also a young dose of Currie Cup, with the best match on tonight when the Bulls play the Pumas at Loftus for a spot in the knockouts.

Question is, can John Mitchell’s laaities avenge the last result (51-15) between these two earlier in the season?

Blue Bulls coach John Mitchell will be hoping for a bonus-point win over the Pumas on Friday night. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Sharks take on Western Province with everything done and dusted in terms of home playoffs. We should be in for three back-to-back home games, if all goes as swimmingly as the season has at the Shark Tank.

Down in Kiwi country, North Harbour take on the bold Taranaki, who chowed front runners Canterbury last week, to win the Renferley Shield – surely the most valued log of wood in world sport. Go with the Taranaki, bumble-bees!

India and Australia have T20 tiddlywinks, and the canaries will be hoping to finish strong in Hyderabad.

India have 99 problems with the swinging ball, but that ain’t nothing on Haroon Lorgat and the CSA chumps – and it’s nothing to do with quotas this time, you dizzy monks.

Talking yellow, it’s MTN8 final in the Dirtbin, as SuperSport meet Cape Town City. Back Benni’s Bandits to take the broadcasting boys, even if they need to go into overtime.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Get lucky!

The Mercury