December 11, 2015

Romelu Lukaku isn't in Jamie Vardy territory just yet, but now that the latter's headline-grabbing streak is over, the former's might actually draw some attention outside of Goodison Park.

Norwich City figure to be fully aware of the Belgium international's form Saturday at Carrow Road, with Everton hoping to get back to their lead striker's consistent contributions resulting in three points.

The 22-year-old Lukaku scored in the 81st minute of Monday's 1-1 home draw with Crystal Palace, giving him six goals on a five-match scoring streak in the Premier League and seven in six across all competitions. It was his 50th goal in 100 matches with the club.

"It's a fantastic ratio," goalkeeper Tim Howard told the club's official website. "You will be hard pressed to better that. It's good that he is in the form he is in for us, not just this season. In training, he works his tail off to better himself. He enjoys scoring goals and it's that youthful exuberance that we love about him. There's many more to come. I'm sure of that."

The problem is the only of the last three that have gone toward a win came in the Toffees' 2-0 victory at Middlesbrough in the League Cup on Dec. 1. Prior to that, Everton were stunned into a 3-3 draw at Bournemouth as their defence failed them from the 80th minute on.

While draws with Palace and Bournemouth might not be particularly eye-catching results, and ninth in the table is near the definition of middling, manager Roberto Martinez pointed toward just how open the league has been this season with a rash of lower teams earning points against those at the top.

Through it, he feels Everton (5-7-3) have been steady, and it's tough to argue that point considering their only defeats in 16 matches across all competitions since losing to Manchester City on Aug. 23 were home to Manchester United and at Arsenal on Oct. 17 and 24. They're 3-4-0 since the 2-1 defeat at the Emirates Stadium with an 18-8 scoring advantage.

"We have been very consistent and we want to reach perfection," Martinez told the club's official website. "I just feel that this team is ready to reach those heights. We have had two defeats in 16, only one defeat in 11 away from home, so we are giving very consistent levels."

The last match in which Lukaku failed to strike was another 1-1 draw Oct. 27, when the Toffees advanced past Norwich in the League Cup on spot kicks at Goodison Park, though he did convert his to help his club through.

Dating to Norwich's previous ascent to the top flight for the 2011-12 season, which lasted through the 2013-14 campaign, the clubs have split points in seven matches with a win each and five draws, including the League Cup fixture.

That match is part of an 11-week span in which the Canaries (3-4-8) have fallen off. The return to the top flight began with promise as Norwich went 4-2-2 in all competitions, but they've since won once in 10 (1-3-6). Last Saturday's 2-0 loss at Watford was the latest reminder that it's been the Hornets rather than the Canaries playing the role of the most promising promoted club.

The attack has been a concern with three goals in their last six league matches.

"I would say there was a lack of game management," manager Alex Neil told the club's official website. "We didn't pick the right times to put our foot on the ball and pick a pass. We got caught and cost ourselves a first goal. We had to change it, we went two up top in the second half but to be honest to no real avail."

Norwich is 16th in the table on 13 points and only safe at the moment on goal differential ahead of Bournemouth and Newcastle United.

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