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Jonny Evans v Romelu Lukaku: The key battle when West Brom host Manchester United
Last Updated: 17/12/17 1:11pm
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku will face a tough test against Jonny Evans on Super Sunday. Who will come out on top? We examine the stats.
West Brom are looking for their first win under Alan Pardew and their first Premier League victory since August 19, having failed to win any of their last 15 league games.
The key battle will be between two players who face their former clubs. Lukaku returns to West Brom, where he scored 17 Premier League goals during a loan spell from Chelsea in 2012/13, and he will be up against Evans who began his career at United, where he won six major trophies, including three Premier League titles.
Lukaku had been on a barren run with only one goal in nine matches but he scored United's winner against Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Wednesday. The goal was his ninth in the Premier League this season, with his goals winning Jose Mourinho's men five points.
The Belgian's importance to Mourinho's side is shown by the fact he is one of four players to start all 17 league games this season (with David De Gea, Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia) and is one of three players to play every minute (with De Gea and Valencia).
Meanwhile, Lukaku is one of 26 players to play every minute in the Premier League this season and is the only forward in the division yet to miss a minute of action.
Most PL minutes (strikers)
As well as finding the net nine times, Lukaku has assisted on a further four goals - no forward has assisted more.
West Brom are well aware of his talents. Lukaku has a good record at The Hawthorns, scoring 10 goals in 17 Premier League appearances for Albion at the ground during his loan spell in 2012/13, including a memorable hat-trick in a 5-5 draw with United in Sir Alex Ferguson's final game in charge.
As an Everton player Lukaku scored three goals in his last three appearances at The Hawthorns, the Toffees winning all three games.
If West Brom are to gain a positive result, centre-back Evans is likely to play a key role for a side that has kept two clean sheets in their three Premier League games under Pardew, conceding only once.
Under their new boss, Evans has been involved in more duels and made more clearances and interceptions per game than any of his team-mates.
Evans PL record
|Duels per game||8.2||9.7|
|Clearances per game||3.8||4.7|
|Headed clearances p/g||2.4||2.7|
Evans has formed a strong partnership with Ahmed Hegazi, who has started every Premier League game this season. Hegazi has made 121 clearances, with only two players in the division making more.
Most PL clearances
|Ahmed Hegazi||West Brom||121|
If West Brom are to stop Lukaku scoring in successive Premier League games for the first time since September the partnership between Evans and Hegazi is likely to be crucial.
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