West Brom v Villa: Lukaku - Benteke is "very dangerous"
Romelu Lukaku insists West Brom must beware of his good friend Christian Benteke on Saturday, hailing our star striker "a very dangerous player and a great finisher."
Belgium team-mates Lukaku and Benteke are great pals off the pitch, meeting up regularly for chats about their progress in the Barclays Premier League as well as a spot of FIFA 13 on the Playstation.
Lukaku has picked out Benteke as Villa's main threat when they face the Baggies in the 5.30pm kick-off.
He said: "I've known Christian since I was 14.
"I met him the first time when he was at Genk - I was playing for Anderlecht U17s and he was playing for their U19s.
"We spoke a little bit and I met him again the year after in the reserves. We also played together for Belgium U21s.
"He's a good player, a very good header of the ball and someone who can hold it up well.
"He has good technical qualities and is a great finisher.
"He can really make the difference for his team and be very dangerous.
"I get together with Christian sometimes. We play PlayStation and talk about the old times in Belgium and the national team.
"They are good memories and we have a laugh.
"Christian is a very good guy and we also come from the same country, DR Congo, so it is sometimes nice to speak in our own language.
"We talk a lot about the Premier League and how we can improve and try to bring the best out of each other.
"We play for rival clubs but we wish each other the best.
"In Belgium, we also played for rival clubs when I was at Anderlecht and he was at Standard Liege.
"It's a friendly rivalry and we will see each other after the game."
Lukaku is relishing the clash with Villa after loving the noisy atmosphere in the first game at B6.
He added: "The first match against Villa was the first derby where I experienced something else because back in Belgium only in the youth teams do you have Anderlecht versus Brussels.
"In the first team at Anderlecht, I had no derbies and at Chelsea only one against Arsenal, when I came on as a late sub.
"The first one here against Villa was really something good.
"I liked our crowd getting noisy and supporting us.
"It brings me joy and hopefully it will be the same this weekend.
"It would be great to beat Villa and make sure we are the number one team in the Birmingham area - but it'll be a tough game.
"We're not seventh in the league for no reason, though.
"Recently, we've had some disappointing results but every team has these moments.
"I think the Villa game will be the perfect motivation to try and rediscover our top form.
"The Reading game was disappointing, as was Tuesday, but now I'm burning for a win.
"If we can win this one, it will help us stay at the top end of the table."
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Go to full match coverage for West Brom 2 - 2 Aston Villa (17th January 2013) >
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