Why Costa Rica could fear Romelu Lukaku
After scoring against Egypt last weekend, Romelu Lukaku is expected to be the danger man again for Belgium as the Red Devils come up against Costa Rica tonight, in a game you can watch live on MUTV in the UK and Ireland (kick-off 19:45 BST).
Should Lukaku make an appearance, Los Ticos will have every right to fear the Belgian, who netted 27 goals in his debut season at Old Trafford. Now Belgium's record goalscorer, the 25-year old has firmly established himself as the number one striker in Roberto Martinez's side.
The World Cup warm-up matches for Belgium have so far yielded a goalless draw against Portugal, in which Lukaku played 45 minutes before being substituted, and, most recently, a convincing win against Egypt.
In Saturday's game against the Pharaohs, Rom showed he had not lost his golden touch as he opened the scoring midway through the first half. His compatriots, Eden Hazard and fellow United team-mate Marouane Fellaini, also got on the scoresheet as Martinez's side emerged as comfortable winners.
With three goals in three games in 2018 for the Red Devils, Lukaku will be itching to extend this international run into tonight's fixture and onwards into the World Cup itself.
While Costa Rica will have plenty to contend with, given the strength of Belgium's attack, they do have a goalkeeper with the ability to keep the Red Devils at bay.
Keylor Navas is expected to be in goal for the match, as the Real Madrid shot-stopper bids to halt Lukaku's goalscoring run. Since he arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2014, Navas has enjoyed a trophy-laden tenure with Los Blancos, and the 31-year old recently picked up a third Champions League title in a row.
With Los Ticos, Navas was unable to stop Lukaku's United team-mate, Marcus Rashford, at Elland Road as the youngster scored a beauty to set England on course to victory last week. Navas played the full 90 minutes after being a first-half substitute in the previous fixture against Northern Ireland.
Belgium's opposition is seen as one of the most stable teams in this year's World Cup, with the squad that is travelling to Russia largely unchanged from the squad that appeared in Brazil in 2014.
Tonight's meeting at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels will not be the first time that Navas and Lukaku have come up against one another. The two previously met as Real Madrid and United contested the UEFA Super Cup at the beginning of the previous campaign.
While Lukaku was able to open his account for the Reds, as he slotted home a rebounded effort midway through the second half, it was Zinedine Zidane's side that clinched victory.
Real Madrid 2 United 1 article
The Reds begin 2017/18 with a narrow defeat against the Spanish side in the UEFA Super Cup in Skopje.