IKTS Week 19: A visit to East Anglia to face Norwich.

Arsenal bombarded the Leeds goal, establishing a new record for shots on goal in the first half for the data and stats era of the Premier League, scoring three, with Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka, and several others participating in an onslaught of the Leeds goal. The second half was more subdued, and a bad tackle by White in the surface gifted a goal to Leeds through a penalty. Then came Smith-Rowe as a sub to score his obligatory goal on a splendid pass by Odegaard. Earlier, the only other Saturday fixture, between Aston Villa and Burnley, was postponed due to the pandemic, to add to the five games that had already been postponed for this game week. Sunday witnessed a routine win at Newcastle for Manchester City by four goals to nil, and a goalless draw involving Wolverhampton and Chelsea. But the best game of the day, only available on peacock, produced a lot of drama, with Kane getting a yellow card when an ironclad red card was a certitude, and a penalty for Liverpool not awarded for extremely dubious reasons, just in the first half. In the second half, Robertson was given a red card for a violation a tiny fraction of the gravity of Kane's in the first half, and Liverpool was thus denied a win, while the noisy neighbors got an undeserved point, in a context where it is quite obvious that the officials act extremely harshly towards some teams, while being very accommodating to other teams. The role of the pundits and commentators is frequently helping the aforementioned officials by not exposing the subpar (to say the least) decision making and the global farce of refereeing in the Premier League. The eight participants combined for 27 points (or 3 and 3/8 points per participant) and there was a grand total of four correct IKTS predictions.

Scores for the week:

ben from portsmouth 5 (1)
ClevelandJames 4 (1)
hansdampf 4 (1)
Sonny from Suffolk 4 (1)
Ray from Norfolk 4 (0)
Geaux_HR 2 (0)
inthekcmix 2 (0)
skinnejay 2 (0)

Stars of the week: ben from portsmouth is first on 5 points (and one correct IKTS prediction) with ClevelandJames, hansdampf, and Sonny from Suffolk in second on 4 points (and one correct IKTS prediction each) but Ray from Norfolk is right behind.

Clever pick of the week: Only ben from portsmouth predicted the exact score for Tottenham versus Liverpool. Otherwise, ClevelandJames, handsampf, and Sonny from Suffolk all predicted the correct score for Newcastle versus Manchester City.

Crisis pick of the week: Another collective crisis as all of the participants predicted a win for Liverpool. In addition, all the participants expected Chelsea to win, except Ray from Norfolk, who predicted 1-1 for the goalless draw at Wolverhampton, hauling two points.

Standings after week 18:

ClevelandJames 147 (18)
skinnejay 143 (23)
Sonny from Suffolk 141 (18)
Ray from Norfolk 134 (11)
Geaux_HR 127 (14)
hansdampf 122 (11)
ben from portsmouth 115 (13)
inthekcmix 103 (6)

After Week 18, ClevelandJames leads skiinejay by four points and Sonny from Suffolk by six points.

Cup game: Arsenal beat Sunderland 5-1 with a great performance, particularly an excellent second half. Eddie Nketiah scored an eye catching hat trick, while Nicolas Pepe scored, assisted, nutmegged the opposition, and assisted again to provide debutant Charlie Patino on the final goal of the game. ClevelandJames and Geaux_HR score two points each for correct outcome and correct goal difference while the other participants score a point each for correct outcome, but incorrect goal difference.

Cup standings:

Geaux_HR 7 (1)
ClevelandJames 6 (0)
ben from portsmouth 5 (1)
hansdampf 5 (0)
Sonny from Suffolk 4 (0)
Ray from Norfolk 3 (0)
skinnejay 3 (0)
inthekcmix 2 (0)

In the Cup standings, Geaux_HR leads ClevelandJames by a single point.

Upcoming schedule:

Week 19: Sunday December 26 and Monday December 27:

Liverpool - Leeds
Wolverhampton - Watford
Burnley - Everton
Manchester City - Leicester
Norwich - Arsenal
Tottenham - Crystal Palace
West Ham - Southampton
Aston Villa - Chelsea
Brighton - Brentford
Newcastle - Manchester United