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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

The Soothsayer

Sadly, last week's top bet, Lokomotiv and CSKA to draw, went down as Lokomotiv won 1-0. The race for the Russian Premier League is far from over yet, though.

Meanwhile, in the Intertoto Cup, Fulham and Aston Villa both managed to get through to the semifinals, Villa in spectacular fashion, coming from 2-0 down in the first leg to win 3-2 on aggregate. There were many friendlies over the weekend involving the top English clubs. All recorded good victories except for Liverpool, which lost 1-0 at home to Lazio even with its two new French signings, El-Hadji Diouf and Bruno Cheyrou, who cost $20 million. Coach Gerard Houllier said: "The crowd took to them both, particularly Bruno Cheyrou, and a lot of good things came when he was involved." Except of course the result.

EUROPE



The Russian Premier League is again center stage this weekend. The big match is Spartak at home to Dynamo. After a bad start to the season Spartak is back in the title chase. It had a very important 1-0 win at Zenit last week and with CSKA losing, the champions are up to second place, just three points behind Lokomotiv. The two Moscow derbies this Saturday, Spartak vs. Dynamo and Lokomotiv vs. Torpedo, should both be home wins at 1.80-4/5 and 1.67-4/6, respectively. This double is my bet of the week.

CSKA has a much harder match away at Krylya Sovietov as the team from Samara has only lost once at home this season, and that was to Spartak. I think it will lose even more ground this week by drawing, 3.25-9/4.

This weekend in Europe the pre-season tournaments are starting. Manchester United plays in Amsterdam, Liverpool in Spain in the Real Madrid centenary tournament and Arsenal in Austria. The biggest teams in Europe -- Barcelona, Parma, Ajax, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and AC Milan -- will also be competing and we can finally see which team has bought a bargain or a donkey in the close season.

After last week's loss the kitty profit is now down to $96.

UNITED STATES



As of Tuesday night the New York Yankees had the best record in the American League. If you want to back the Yankees for the World Series they are now 2.50-6/4 favorites. Who can stop them? The Braves? The Mariners? The Diamondbacks? ... no, no and no. The Yankees have the best squad in baseball, but more importantly they learned an important lesson last year: Do not take things for granted. There will be no mistakes this year!

CHARITY BET



With Glorious Goodwood in full swing the full results of last week's bets will not be known until next week. After this, our race-goer will be packing away his blazer temporarily and taking out his lifejacket as he is off to the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club at Cowes. Having struggled to find a bet to put his 500 rubles on in the yachting, he goes back to the world of cricket for this week's bet, backing England at 1.20-2/5 to beat India in the remaining three tests.

The charity kitty remains the same at 18,095 rubles, with the results from Goodwood to come.

BET OF THE WEEK



$20 double

Spartak to win 1.80 – 4/5

Lokomotiv to win 1.67 – 4/6

(Both 4 p.m. Saturday)

Possible winnings -- $60

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