Aston Villa host Everton at Villa Park on Saturday in a Premier League match which will see Belgian international strikers Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku on opposing sides.
Five wins in six matches have seen Everton move away from the bottom three and safely to mid-table, releasing plenty of previous pressure on boss Roberto Martinez and under-fire striker Romelu Lukaku.
The Villans, likewise, have improved massively recently under new boss Tim Sherwood, but they still have plenty of work to do in their bid to avoid relegation from the top flight.
It’s an interesting match-up between two of England’s oldest and most recognised clubs, and the result could boil down to which Belgian striker gets the better of the other on the day.
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According to the table provide by Opta Stats, Villa have reason to be optimistic in this regard as their man Benteke has clearly outperformed Lukaku over the season.
The former Genk ace has averaged more goals, shots, key passes and aerial duel winners per Premier League encounter.
His recent goal scoring form is as good as any in the Premier League, but one area of Benteke’s game which is often overlooked is his build-up play and general involvement.
The 24-year-old also averages more accurate passes and touches than the former Chelsea ace, despite the fact that the Merseysiders in general see far more of the ball than Villa.
Lukaku by his own standards hasn’t had his best campaign since moving to the Premier League, but he has contributed well this season and it’s worth considering just how young he really is.
That said, Benteke has rediscovered his top form under Sherwood and there can be little doubts as to who Belgium’s number one striker over the past nine months.