Report: West Ham star discusses dealing with Romelu Lukaku

Premier League rivals West Ham and Everton face off in a FA Cup third round replay on Tuesday after their 1-1 draw at the first time of asking.

West Ham are set to face Everton in the FA Cup on Tuesday and James Collins isn't underestimating Romelu Lukaku judging by his interview with the London Evening Standard.

Hammers central defender Collins netted the opening goal of the first game, and it looked as if West Ham were to come away from the game with a victory. However, a spell of sustained pressure late in the game paid off as Belgian international Lukaku scored the equaliser in injury time.

The result assured Everton’s poor run of form was halted, and, although the replay takes place at the Boleyn Ground and starts with West Ham as favourites, the Toffees will be hoping to get something out of the game.

Lukaku’s form has somewhat dipped since signing for Everton on a permanent deal at the start of the campaign, netting just six times in 21 games, when he ended last year with 15 in 31. Considering he is only 21-years-old, his jaded fitness and poor run of games can be forgiven with the amount of football he has played in the last few years, and the Hammers will still be wary of facing the young forward - especially considering his record against them.

The former Anderlecht man has four goals in four games against the East London club, and Collins outlined his key strengths when speaking to the London Evening Standard.

“He has a few strengths,” the central defender said. “He’s big, strong, he’s reasonably quick and he seems to give us problems.

“But if you look at the goals he’s scored against us this season, the one in the Premier League was offside and the one in the FA Cup a week ago sort of fell to him — we were hanging onto the game and we were a bit sloppy.

“It’s obviously disappointing that he keeps scoring against us but he hasn’t really ripped us apart as he has done to other teams.”

Collins believes that, whilst Lukaku is a top quality player, his impressive record against West Ham is down to poor defending and bad play rather than the forward’s ability.

He added: “I would say it’s more down to our sloppiness and poor defending than him being unbelievable. He’s a top quality player and Everton wouldn’t have paid that much for him if they didn’t think he was worth it.

“I am sure he will end up with lots of goals at the end of the season but we have to try and prevent him making it five in five against us.”

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