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Martinez wary of Benteke

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is wary of Belgium striker Christian Benteke ahead of their trip to Aston Villa.

Last Updated: 25/10/13 at 13:27 Post Comment

Roberto Martinez: Aware of Villa threat

Roberto Martinez: Aware of Villa threat

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is learning more about Belgian strikers every day working with on-loan Romelu Lukaku and so he is rightly wary of another in Aston Villa's Christian Benteke.

The two national team-mates go head to head at Villa Park on Saturday and although Martinez will be focusing more on his striker he knows they cannot afford to take Villa's big front man lightly.

"I think he has been an impressive signing," said the Spaniard.

"Looking at his contribution last season it was more than significant in Villa's record in the league and you can see what he brings to the crowd and what he means to everyone at Villa.

"Clearly Villa with Benteke on the pitch is a bigger threat and we will have to be very wary of that."

Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, and Benteke both have four Premier League goals this season but Martinez believes that is where the similarity ends.

"They are very different and Belgium as a national team are very fortunate to have two players of that quality," he added.

"They are two players that they can even play together in the same side and in their way they can be very effective and very much the focal point of any attacking team.

"They are two sensational strikers facing each other."

Lukaku agreed with his manager over the difference in his game to that of his compatriot.

"He has a more aerial threat, a back-to-goal player, and I'm more of a runner who likes to do one v ones," he told evertontv.

"He makes the team all get up and makes everyone around him play. I expect a lot of things from him."

The pair are competing against each other for a place in the national team but Lukaku believes that can only benefit him.

"There is a rivalry but I just try to improve myself and do the best for my team," he added.

"If there is competition it can only improve you as a player and motivate you do to better."

Everton have not lost to the midlanders in their past five meetings and Martinez is keen for that run to be extended.

"We won't underestimate their quality, that's for sure," he said.

"Anyone that can beat Arsenal or Manchester City deserves huge credit. When they have everyone fit and available, they are as good as anyone on their day.

"They have a lot of young players which shows a lot of bravery - that brings you energy and sometimes a dangerous naivety, which is sometimes needed in the modern game.

"They have had really difficult games but I think it's fair to say they are a very brave team, very flexible tactically.

"They always cause a threat and try to win the game, which is refreshing at times.

"I always have great admiration for managers who can be flexible with their tactical approach.

"Clearly, Paul Lambert has achieved that at Villa."


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