IKTS Week 34: At home to face Manchester United.

Despite dominating and creating numerous opportunities, Arsenal failed to score against Southampton, and succumbed to a fluky goal by Southampton's central defender turned striker (as in lucky strike) Bednarek. Things were different when Arsenal visited Chelsea, with Eddie Nketiah scoring twice against the team that released him at age 14, including the first goal after Christensen's anemic back pass to Mendy was gobbled by Eddie Nketiah as well as the third (and decisive) goal after an interception by Arsenal's Tavares who fed Eddie Nketiah who (in turn) scored after an intricate exchange of passes involving him along with Chelsea's Kante and Sarr, who should be credited (LOL) with an assist. Earlier, Arsenal produced a great team goal that started with captain on the day Xhaka dribbling and nutmegging a couple of Chelsea players in the Arsenal surface then finding Odegaard who released Saka on the right wing, collected a return pass from Saka, and gave a simple but excellent assist to ESR who brilliantly hit the ball first time straight to the bottom corner, out of reach of Mendy. Azpilicueta, the Chelsea captain, equalized for 2-2 in the first half after Arsenal failed to clear their lines. The final goal came courtesy of Saka who got violently wrestled to the ground by Azpilicueta, instructed Azpilicueta to accept the yellow card brandished by Jon Moss, then dispatched the obviously awarded penalty. After losing three games on the trot, Arsenal pulled a win against the team most likely to finish third this season. Before losing to Southampton, the weekend had started well for the Gunners as Brighton visited the noisy neighbors and won one-nil thanks to a goal scored at the death. Manchester United labored against Norwich, and only won 3-2 as Ronaldo scored a hat trick. Watford lost 1-2 to visiting Brentford, confirming an extremely likely path to relegation. Newcastle beat Leicester 2-1 thanks to a brace by Guimaraes. West Ham were lucky to tie 1-1 against visiting Burnley, with Cornet missing a penalty. Liverpool only won 4-0 against Manchester United because they took it easy for about 20-25 minutes at the beginning of the second half. Everton scored late for a 1-1 score line against Leicester. Newcastle went one-nil against Crystal Palace. Manchester City kept a clean sheet and scored three goals in the second half against Brighton after the first half had remained scoreless. Finally, Burnley won 2-0 against Southampton, securing three points, and rendering them the only team in the bottom three to have a shot at avoiding relegation. The seven active participants combined for 53 points (for an average of 7 and 4/7 points per participant) and there was a grand total of 7 correct IKTS predictions.

Scores for the week:

ben from portsmouth 11 (2)
skinnejay 10 (1)
ClevelandJames 8 (1)
Sonny from Suffolk 7 (1)
Geaux_HR 6 (1)
Ray from Norfolk 6 (1)
hansdampf 5 (0)

Stars of the week: ben from portsmouth is first on 11 points (and two correct IKTS predictions) with skinnejay in second on 10 points (and one correct IKTS prediction) while ClevelandJames is in third on 8 points (and one correct IKTS prediction) but Sonny from Suffolk is right behind.

Clever pick of the week: Only Sonny from Suffolk predicted the exact score for Watford versus Brentford while only Geaux_HR predicted the correct score for Newcastle versus Leicester. There were also three correct predictions for Manchester City versus Brighton and another two West Ham versus Burnley.

Crisis pick of the week: A collective crisis due to the outcomes of the Tottenham-Brighton and Southampton-Arsenal games.

Standings after week 33:

ClevelandJames 269 (28)
Sonny from Suffolk 257 (31)
Ray from Norfolk 246 (22)
Geaux_HR 240 (29)
skinnejay 239 (36)
hansdampf 241 (22)
ben from portsmouth 227 (23)
inthekcmix 152 (12)

After week 33, ClevelandJames leads Sonny from Suffolk by 12 points.

Cup games: The semi finals of the FA Cup saw Liverpool winning over 3-2 Manchester City and an easy 2-0 win for Chelsea against Crystal Palace. The seven active participants combined for 22 points (for an average of 3 and 1/7 points per participant) and there was grand total of 2 correct IKTS predictions.

Scores for the week:

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

A huge week for ClevelandJames with skinnejay and ben from portsmouth completing the podium.

Cup standings:

skinnejay 36 (3)
Sonny from Suffolk 34 (2)
Geaux_HR 33 (3)
ben from portsmouth 29 (5)
hansdampf 28 (3)
ClevelandJames 25 (2)
Ray from Norfolk 22 (0)
inthekcmix 4 (0)

In the Cup standings, skinnejay leads Sonny from Suffolk by two points and Geaux_HR by three points.

Upcoming schedule:

Week 34: Saturday April 23, Sunday April 24, Monday April 25, and Thursday April 28:

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

UEFA Champions League: Tuesday April 26 and Wednesday April 27:

Manchester City - Real Madrid
Liverpool - Villarreal

UEFA Europa League: Thursday April 28:

Leipzig - Rangers
West Ham - Frankfort

UEFA European Conference League: Thursday April 28:

Leicester - Roma
Feyenoord - Marseille