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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

The Soothsayer

Spartak and Lokomotiv did me proud last week, both winning 1-0 and depositing another $40 of winnings into the kitty. CSKA also did very well with a win in Samara against Krylya to keep it in the title race.

In the preseason tournaments there was a mixed bag of results for all the English clubs, and in fact out of all the 12 European clubs that took part in these tournaments only Bayern Munich and Ajax recorded 100 percent records.

EUROPE



This Sunday sees the traditional opener to the English Premier League season, the Community Shield (formerly the Charity Shield; is there a difference?) between Arsenal and Liverpool.

The Gunners have injury problems with Nwankwo Kanu sidelined, but Gerard Houllier has said that Michael Owen will be fit for the trip to Cardiff. Even though I give Liverpool a hard time occasionally (only occasionally), I think its price of 2.75-7/4 is great value and I'm actually going to put it in my bet of the week. I never thought I'd say it, but go on you Scousers!

The race for the Russian title is red hot, and CSKA this weekend has a seemingly easy home game against relegation candidate Rostselmash that it should win at 1.40-2/5.

We are now reaching the later stages of the All-Ireland Championships with the first hurling semifinal this Sunday between Clare and Munster champion Waterford. This game should be close: Clare is favorite at 1.80-4/5, with Waterford at 2.20-6/5 and the draw at 9.00-8/1.

However, the second semifinal Aug. 18 is Tipperary and Kilkenny, which have 51 championships between them. Kilkenny is the slight underdog and may have to play without wing forward Brian McEvoy unless his fractured finger recovers.

Gaelic football is waiting for the replays of the quarterfinals between Armagh and Sligo and Dublin and Donegal on Aug.17. The value bet at the moment is the special double on the favorite, Kerry, to win the football and Tipperary to win the hurling at 6.50-11/2. The teams are individually 2.20-6/5 and 2.75-7/4 in the outright betting.

Last week's win double gave the old kitty a little boost up to $136.

UNITED STATES



You'll be laughing if you followed my preseason NFL tips, as San Francisco clearly played the weaker line-up as it has no potential competition for first-team places. Steve Spurrier on the other hand has a number of key positions to decide upon, especially the quarterback spot.

Spurrier is set for a baptism of fire though: Week two sees Philly visit the Skins, and the team's first three road trips are at San Francisco, Tennessee and Green Bay.

San Francisco is still my Superbowl tip at 15.00-14/1, as it has a far easier schedule than the Rams and is an improving unit.

CHARITY BET



Goodwood proved glorious for our charity fund, landing a 25/1 shot in the Stewards Cup with Bond Boy (we got on it ante-post -- it came in at 14/1 on the day), thus adding 2,500 rubles to the pot, bringing it to 20,595. Our merry punter is plucking for the Community Shield, going for the draw at 3.25-9/4, contrary to my advice, as Arsenal and Liverpool try to out-bore each other to death.

BET OF THE WEEK



$10 double

CSKA to win 1.40-2/5

(5 p.m. Friday)

Liverpool to win 2.75-7/4

(5 p.m. Sunday)

Possible winnings -- $39

$10 special double

All-Ireland Championships

Kerry to win the football

Tipperary to win the hurling

6.50-11/2

Possible winnings -- $65

Frank Caruana is the manager of Sportland. Contact him at Soothsayer@imedia.ru