IKTS Week 9: At home to Tottenham.

Arsenal controlled Brentford in a one way fixture despite being unable to feature Odegaard or Zinchenko. A corner delivered by Saka found man of the match Saliba (15 points in fantasy for this game, and I am indeed lucky to have him in my EPL fantasy team) who flicked the ball into the opposite side of the net with a header. Within a dozen minutes, Xhaka sent in a lofted curveball to Jesus who converted it with a precise header out of reach of the Brentford goalkeeper. After halftime, Fabio Vieira received a pass from Saka and took advantage of a decoy run by Jesus to score from outside the surface and off the post. A gem. Too bad Zinchenko was not on the pitch to express his bewilderment. I also found out that Saliba has two French speaking parents, a father of Lebanese origin, and a mother of Cameroonian origin. Not a surprise. Indeed, I had not one but two members of the Saliba family in my graduating class about forty years ago, in Beirut.

On Friday, Aston Villa went one nil over Southampton while Nottingham Forest lost again 2-3 to another visiting team, this time Fulham. On Saturday, Wolverhampton went down a man for an out of control intervention by Collins on Grealish, then went down by three goals without scoring. Newcastle was neutralized 1-1 by Bournemouth, a team that has gathered 4 points in two successive away games, easing a little bit any immediate fears of inevitable relegation. The noisy neighbors were held 2-2 by Leicester in the first half, but capitalized on a high line and an iffy defensive setup to score four goals in the second half, with the last 3 goals of the 6-2 affair scored by Son who came off the bench to show Conte his value. Finally, the last game on Sunday saw the first win of the season for Everton who went one nil over West Ham thanks to a goal by new recruit Maupay assisted by Iwobi.

Overall, the 14 active participants combined for 98 points, for an average of exactly 7 points per active participant, and we had a grand total of 11 correct IKTS predictions. Quite impressive as there were only seven fixtures and a participant missed posting predictions for the Friday games.

Scores for the week:

luismamontes 10 (2)
Mulz 10 (2)
skinnejay 10 (2)
Geaux_HR 9 (2)
hansdampf 8 (0)
Ray from Norfolk 7 (0)
billvacation 6 (1)
Sonny from Suffolk 6 (1)
AsemBuckets 6 (0)
ben from portsmouth 6 (0)
rswansont 6 (0)
Seidman 5 (1)
ClevelandJames 5 (0)
Purple & Proud 4 (0)

Stars of the week: luismamontes, Mulz, and skinnejay are in first on 10 points (and two correct IKTS predictions each) with Geaux_HR in fourth place with 9 points (and two correct IKTS predictions) while hansdampf is in fifth place with 8 points (but no correct IKTS predictions) but all the participants are within four points of fifth place.

Clever pick of the week: There were two exact predictions for Brentford versus Arsenal, Aston Villa versus Southampton, and Newcastle versus Bournemouth. There were also five correct predictions for Wolverhampton versus Manchester City.

Crisis pick of the week: Only billvacation did not predict a win for The Almighty Arsenal at Brentford while all the other participants scored points, including two who guessed the exact 0-3 score line and pocketed 3 points.

Scores after week 8:

skinnejay 64 (11)
luismamontes 61 (10)
Mulz 59 (9)
Sonny from Suffolk 57 (9)
Geaux_HR 56 (8)
Ray from Norfolk 56 (6)
AsemBuckets 53 (5)
Purple & Proud 49 (7)
hansdampf 49 (3)
rswansont 48 (4)
ben from portsmouth 45 (3)
ClevelandJames 44 (3)
billvacation 43 (6)
Seidman 41 (6)
DustyGooner 9 (2)

After week 8, skinnejay leads luismamontes by three points and Mulz by five points.

Upcoming schedule: Saturday October 1, Sunday October 2, and Monday October 3:

Arsenal - Tottenham
Bournemouth - Brentford
Crystal Palace - Chelsea
Fulham - Newcastle
Liverpool - Brighton
Southampton - Everton
West Ham - Wolverhampton
Manchester City - Manchester United
Leeds - Aston Villa
Leicester - Nottingham Forest