Romelu Lukaku v Vincent Kompany - Clash of the weekend?

Romelu Lukaku and Vincent Kompany go head-to-head this weekend as Everton look to maintain their unbeaten record at Manchester City.

Everton fans will probably be heading to the Etihad Stadium this weekend quietly confident.

Roberto Martinez has got the side playing sensible and well organised football, with one of the most talked about strikers in the Premier League at the moment, Chelsea’s on loan star Romelu Lukaku.

Contrast that to the recent fortunes of Vincent Kompany and many Everton fans may feel Lukaku could get the better of his fellow Belgian this weekend.

Kompany was world class in the Manchester derby against Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, but since then his form has slipped.

Kompany looked nowhere near his best in the Premier League defeat against Aston Villa before he was outclassed by the superior attacking football of Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The worrying factor for Everton is that Kompany does seem to have a tendency to raise his game for the bigger domestic occasions and he should relish the physical battle of going up against a striker who could bully the Manchester City defence.

City would like nothing more than to get their Premier League title aim back on track and take away Everton’s unbeaten record in the process.

How Lukaku counters Kompany this weekend will be interesting to watch.

Lukaku is a much better, much more versatile and complex striker than many will give him credit for.

See also: Can Martinez do what Moyes couldn't...?

He cuts the appearance of a straight up target man, someone who can hold the ball up and fend off the physical challenge from the opposition defence.

If he produces anything like the performance he displayed against Newcastle, he’ll give Kompany nightmares because his touch, his positioning and his intelligence in that game was superb.

Lukaku’s passing success rate for Everton is poor, around 70%, but he’s got one assist and has already scored three goals for the club which shows that he generally makes the right decisions in the final third of the pitch.

What Kompany has to be wary of is getting involved in a physical scrap with Lukaku and taking too many risks as he steps out from the City back four.

He’s making two key tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game on average this season, which shows that he likes to get his foot in, pressing forwards before they can get on the ball and be effective.

Lukaku is good enough to control possession, offloading and utilising the space that Kompany leaves if the City defender wants to make it a personal battle between the pair.

Either way, it’s going to be fascinating to see who comes out on top.

Which way do you think this battle will go?

image: © Erik Daniel Drost

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