Lukaku must prove worthy of manager Martinez’s words against Man Utd
Since Everton bowed out of the Europa League, leading marksman Romelu Lukaku has failed to net in two subsequent outings, but that may have something to do with sustaining an injury.
Big Belgium striker Lukaku is a 15/8 anytime scorer chance with Coral against Manchester United, and impressive seasonal stats of 18 in 43 outings across all competitions has prompted manager Roberto Martinez to sing his praises.
“He is quite responsible and sometimes takes a critical view of himself,” Martinez said of Lukaku. “But I think that’s what will make him one of the best strikers in world football.”
When previously paired with the Toffees’ upcoming opponents United, Lukaku has scored three in six, though that is somewhat skewed by him hitting a hat-trick in West Bromwich Albion colours during the 5-5 thriller that was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game in charge of the Red Devils.
Everton managed to do the double over United last term, but that was when facing former manager David Moyes. Louis van Gaal is a different proposition entirely, so a home win at Goodison Park is an outside price of 11/4.
Both these teams have experienced upturns in form following a difficult first half of the season, so a share of the spoils for each cannot be ruled out at 23/10. The Red Devils are 11/10 favourites to come away from the blue half of Merseyside with three points though, following one defeat in seven league outings.
Punters who find facing former clubs an appealing prospect will look to United captain Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini to help make the Toffees come unstuck. Lukaku’s compatriot Fellaini has two in his last five, so anytime scorer odds of 11/4 are tempting.
There’s no shying away from the fact that Red Devils talisman Rooney has struggled when returning to his old stomping ground. He has struck just four times in 17 outings since leaving Everton, but is 5/1 to break the deadlock if this poor return does not dissuade you.
In-form Spain star Juan Mata (three in four) looks a better bet to score for United at a tasty 10/3 in the anytime market in this Super Sunday lunchtime offering. Much has been made, meanwhile, of Van Gaal’s major signings, Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria.
Both were on target in the reverse fixture, so have to be considered. Colombia hitman Falcao does look a little short at 6/4, though Argentina attacker Di Maria is the same price as Fellaini (11/4).
Yet another Belgian, Kevin Mirallas netted in the Toffees’ 2-0 victory at Goodison last term and got the winner against Burnley in their previous outing. He is awesome value at 8/1 to round of the scoring once more.
Fellow winger Aaron Lennon, meanwhile, has two in four, and is mooted to be on Martinez’s wishlist as a permanent acquisition, which may see Mirallas move to Tottenham as a makeweight. Lennon is superb at 7/1 to net again anytime.
Although Everton have won their last three home games to nil (11/2), stopping a rampant Red Devils side that have scored dozen in their previous five. Lukaku will have to be on song, but an 18/5 price on a United win with both teams being on target looks a good shout as thus has happened on three occasions recently.