Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

The Soothsayer

When I was back in Blighty over the past two weeks, the Premier League table played its own version of musical chairs. More than a bit has changed. Arsenal is breaking league records at will and looking supreme at the top. As for the fortunes of Manchester United, Ruud "Van the Man" Nistelrooy has clearly lost his goal touch, having only netted once in the league this season. Having already lost twice, the Reds languish down in 10th place. Spurs are still in the unfamiliar waters of second place, and Fulham is riding high in sixth having played one game less than the rest. Talking of the Cottagers, I ran in to Bob the Builder the other day and he was complaining about being arrested for washing his car in a Moscow street. Personally, I think it's a great law. Many a hubby back in Britain would love to say to the missus on a Sunday: "Sorry love, can't wash the car -- it's illegal. I'll have to watch the footy instead." One thing didn't change while I was away -- my bet lost and the Irish were thrashed by Russia. I wonder if they are missing Keano yet?

EUROPE





The most interesting Premier League match this week is the northeast derby, Newcastle at home to Sunderland. Strangely, Bobby Robson's men are second from bottom after playing some good football but not getting the points. Mind you, the Black Cats are not much better off at just one place above. This is definitely a false position for Newcastle and as this is a local derby the odds are good on Alan Shearer leading his men to a win at 1.91-10/11.

Alex Ferguson's not in good form. United play surprise package and infamous cheapskates Tottenham at the theatre of bad dreams. Normally I would be tipping United to win without hesitating, but at present they couldn't hit the side of a London bus. Maybe it's down to Fergie not knowing which team they are playing. He said Wednesday the Red Devils were playing Hapoel Tel Aviv until he was corrected by an Israeli interviewer who pointed out they were actually playing Maccabi Haifa. I think the red-faced Scotsman is beginning to lose the plot a bit. The only result here is a draw at 3.62-13/8 but don't put your house on it.

Arsene Wenger's Gunners must have a surefire home win against Bolton at 1.25-1/4 and Liverpool should also turn over a plucky West Bromwich on its visit to Anfield at 1.30-3/10.

In the Russian league, Lokomotiv has gone five points clear with six games to go -- mainly due to the indifferent results Spartak and CSKA have had in the past two weeks. This week the top three are away to the teams immediately above the relegation zone. This can be a period when shock results occur as these teams desperately try to avoid the drop, so for betting purposes, leave well alone. I lost the last bet I had, so the kitty dropped $20 and is now $135 in profit.

UNITED STATES





Something that used to blight Britain's national sport has reared its head in the NFL. As Philadelphia was thrashing the Washington Redskins 37-7 last week, the security guards used pepper spray to break up a fight among fans that temporarily halted play. The spray, which had been used in the stands on Philadelphia's side of the field, drifted onto the field. Players from the Eagles' bench and coach Andy Reid walked onto the field with about 6 1/2 minutes to go, causing referee Bob McElwee to call a halt to the proceedings.

This week's best bets are New England to beat Kansas City despite the 7.5-point handicap. It's made a good start to the season, and we have seen the Super Bowl price tumble sharply in the first two weeks.

Cincinnati at Atlanta: Judging from it's first two games, the Bengals have a slight problem in offense, only managing to score 13 points so far. With Atlanta's defensive home performance last week, go for the under 42.5 total points.

CHARITY BET



The intrepid traveler this week is putting 500 rubles on Russia to beat the Argies in the Davis Cup starting Friday at 1.72-8/11. The kitty now stands at 26,345 rubles.

BETS OF THE WEEK



European $10 Treble
Newcastle Utd to win 1.91-10/11
(3:15 p.m. Saturday)
Arsenal to win 1.25-1/4
(6 p.m. Saturday)
Liverpool to win 1.30-3/10
(6 p.m. Saturday)
Possible Winnings -- $31
U.S. $10 Treble
New England to win (-7.5) 1.90-9/10
(9 p.m. Sunday)
N.Y. Jets at Miami (Over 40.5) 1.90-9/10
(9 p.m. Sunday)
Cincinnati at Atlanta (Under 42.5) 1.90-9/10
(4.30 a.m. Monday)
Possible Winnings -- $69

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