IKTS Week 35: A visit to West Ham.

Arsenal took care of Manchester United in a chaotic game with Nuno Tavares scoring early on for his first Premier League goal ever after de Gea fingertipped a save on a curving shot from Bukayo Saka. A goal by Eddie Nketiah was chalked off for an offside but a penalty was correctly awarded as Saka had been crudely fouled in the surface a second earlier; Bukayo Saka scored his second penalty in as many games, but a defensive mishap gifted Cristiano Ronaldo (who had a classy supporting round of applause at the seventh minute) a goal on a pass from Matic. A penalty was then awarded for a handball by Nuno Tavares, but Fernandes made a mess out of the conversion; he would later earn a yellow card that could have been easily a red for a really bad foul. The second half saw Manchester United ramp up the pressure, but the game was settled by Granit Xhaka with a wonder strike, for his first goal of the season. Leicester versus Aston Villa ended scoreless, as did Crystal Palace versus Leeds, and Brentford versus the noisy neighbors but the Bees failed to capitalize on numerous corners, while Toney hit the woodwork twice. Manchester City annihilated Watford 5-1 as expected. Norwich could not score at home against Newcastle, with the visitors scoring thrice. Brighton went two goals up, but Ward-Prowse scored two long range missiles (one a free kick, the other from open play) with 2-2 as the final score. Burnley climbed out of the relegation zone by going one-nil over Wolverhampton. West Ham's Dawson was red carded late in the game as he fouled Chelsea's Lukaku in the surface; however, Jorginho sent the penalty right in the arms of Fabianski, but Chelsea found a winning goal at the death for a 1-0 score line. Liverpool predictably won 2-0 against Everton who look to be heading to the Championship. Finally, Manchester United and Chelsea ended up 1-1, in a game between two teams (LOL) beaten by the Gunners in the last ten days. The seven active participants combined for 57 points (for an average of 8 and 1/7 points per participant) and there was a grand total of 3 correct IKTS predictions. Note that all participants were awarded a point for the Chelsea versus West Ham game, including ClevelandJames and Geaux_HR who posted their predictions on the initial thread.

Scores for the week:

skinnejay 13 (2)
Sonny from Suffolk 10 (0)
ben from portsmouth 8 (1)
Geaux_HR 8 (0)
ClevelandJames 7 (0)
hansdampf 6 (0)
Ray from Norfolk 5 (0)

Stars of the week: skinnejay is first on 13 points (and two correct IKTS predictions) with Sonny from Suffolk in second on 10 points (but no correct IKTS predictions) while ben from portsmouth is in third on 8 points (and one correct IKTS prediction) but Geaux_HR and ClevelandJames are right behind.

Clever pick of the week: Only skinnejay predicted the exact score for Arsenal versus Manchester United and Burnley versus Wolverhampton. The only other correct prediction came courtesy of ben from portsmouth for Liverpool versus Everton.

Crisis pick of the week: Geaux_HR was the only participant to predict a loss for Arsenal, but hansdampf and ben from portsmouth were also guilty as they predicted a score line of 2-2 for Arsenal versus Manchester United. The other participants knew better and scored easy points.

Standings after week 34:

ClevelandJames 276 (28)
Sonny from Suffolk 267 (31)
skinnejay 252 (38)
Ray from Norfolk 251 (22)
Geaux_HR 248 (29)
hansdampf 247 (22)
ben from portsmouth 235 (24)
inthekcmix 152 (12)

After week 34, ClevelandJames leads Sonny from Suffolk by 10 points with skinnejay now in third place ahead of Ray from Norfolk by a single point.

Cup games: The first legs of the semi finals of the three European competitions were contested this week. The seven active participants combined for 32 points (for an average of 4 and 4/7 points per participant) and there was a grand total of 4 correct IKTS predictions.

Scores for the week:

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

A good week for Geaux_HR and handsampf with Ray from Norfolk and skinnejay completing the podium.

Cup standings:

skinnejay 41 (4)
Geaux_HR 39 (4)
Sonny from Suffolk 37 (2)
hansdampf 34 (4)
ben from portsmouth 32 (5)
ClevelandJames 29 (2)
Ray from Norfolk 27 (1)
inthekcmix 4 (0)

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

Upcoming schedule:

Week 34: Saturday April 30, Sunday May 1, and Monday May 2:

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

UEFA Champions League: Tuesday May 3 and Wednesday May 4:

Villarreal - Liverpool
Real Madrid - Manchester City

UEFA Europa League: Thursday May 5:

Rangers - Leipzig
Frankfort - West Ham

UEFA European Conference League: Thursday May 5:

Roma - Leicester
Marseille - Feyenoord