Everton team news: Merson believes Lukaku and Benteke similar standard

By support

29th Sep, 2016 | 4:37pm

Paul Merson makes fascinating Lukaku comparison ahead of Everton clash

By Amir Mir

Paul Merson believes there is “not much between” Romelu Lukaku and Christian Benteke ahead of Everton’s clash with Crystal Palace on Friday night.

The two Belgian strikers will be on opposite sides when Ronald Koeman’s side host Alan Pardew’s men at Goodison Park.

Lukaku, 23, has scored four goals in five league appearances this term, while Benteke, 25, has scored two goals in four appearances since his £30million transfer from Liverpool to Palace during the summer window.

Sky Sports pundit Merson has backed the Merseyside club to beat the London side 2-1 on Friday night, as he hailed the strike duo for both clubs.

“Palace seem to have turned the corner and are flying at the moment,” Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column. “But if they didn’t score so soon after Sunderland went 2-0 up last weekend I don’t think they would have got back in the game. It was a disappointing result for Everton against Bournemouth and they will be looking to bounce back.

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“There’s not much between Romelu Lukaku and Christian Benteke if both sides play to their strengths, but Lukaku has looked bright recently and Benteke is just starting out with a new club.”

Lukaku has scored 64 goals in 154 appearances for Chelsea, West Brom and Everton, while his Belgian counterpart has scored 53 goals in 122 appearances for Aston Villa, Liverpool and Palace.

Both will be hoping to help their teams make a push up the table, with Everton losing their previous fixture 1-0 against Bournemouth and Benteke scoring a 94th minute header to beat Sunderland 3-2.

The Toffees are currently fifth with 13 points from six games, while the Eagles are seventh with ten points to their name.

In other Everton team news, Koeman reveals this Toffees player is ruled out of the Crystal Palace clash.