Premier League Top 5: Naughty & Nice

Livermore_JakeSoccer365′s Charles Brody shines a spotlight on the most two-faced performances during the festive period.

#5 – Jake Livermore netted a crucial goal in Hull’s 1-1 draw at West Brom, but made the curious choice to celebrate by kicking out and destroying a pitch-side camera. A gesture not quite in keeping with the holiday spirit, but he has since apologized and pledged to shell out £6,000 for a replacement.

#4 – Adnan Januzaj has the potential to be a future star at Manchester United, as evidenced by the way he left his defender in the dust and fired home in the win over West Ham. But the 18-year-old produced a much less desirable moment later on, going down with a blatant dive after James Collins had made no contact whatsoever.

#3 – Ross Barkley was another youngster who put on a mixed display, although ultimately finding the winner for Everton over Swansea. Through on goal early on, he slipped at the crucial moment and ended up producing a horrendous effort, but popped up with six minutes left to curl a magnificent free-kick in off the crossbar.

#2 – Theo Walcott had a roller coaster ride during the festive fixtures. Anonymous and well-below par during Arsenal’s stalemate with Chelsea, things weren’t going well at West Ham either when he failed to convert a close-range opportunity. But in the miraculous spirit of the holidays his next effort went through goalkeeper Adrian, and three minutes later his powerful back-post header sent the Gunners back to the top of the table.

#1 – Vincent Kompany’s week may well be remembered by his now-infamous and unique own-goal, but the massive Belgian defender showed his quality with a pair of vital goals for Manchester City. His alert stabbed finish at Fulham was soon forgotten when his mis-kick sent the ball spinning high into the air and – incredibly – into the net, but his commanding downward header was of paramount importance as City edged Liverpool to climb to second place.

Brody Predicts:
Manchester City 4 – 0 Crystal Palace, brought back down to earth at the Etihad.
Norwich 1 – 2 Manchester United continue to improve.
Newcastle 1 – 1 Arsenal, as St. James’ Park has become a fortress.
Chelsea 2 – 2 Liverpool, another Blues/Reds classic.

Predicted Suarez to score in Liverpool’s win, two-goal victories by City and United, and a London derby draw.

How I did last time: 4 for 4 again!

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