Edinson Cavani is key to PSG’s Champions League success

With Neymar signing for a ridiculous amount of money from Barcelona, and snatching wunderkind Kylian Mbappe on loan from rivals Monaco it could prove to be hard to stand out in Paris St-Germain’s attack that already includes Angel Di Maria and Edinson Cavani, but stand out is exactly what the latter has done this season and the Uruguayan could be the key to Champions League success for the French heavyweights.

The 30-year-old has been in top form this season for the Paris powerhouse, wasting little time forming a formidable combination with Neymar and seemingly Mbappe as well. The six-time Ligue 1 champions have won all five matches thus far, scoring 19 goals and conceding only three. This alone makes them one of the most in-form teams leading into the Champions League Group Stage.

In-form teams

  • Shakhtar Donetsk 21 points from eight matches
  • Maribor 18 points from eight matches
  • CSKA Moscow 16 points from nine matches
  • Paris St Germain 15 points from five matches
  • FC Porto 15 points from five matches
  • Sporting Lisbon 15 points from five matches 

Cavani has played a huge role in the attacking third this term, having already netted seven times and assisting in two goals from the half dozen goal scoring opportunities he has created.  The Uruguayan’s seven goals not only makes him one of the most lethal finishers in Ligue 1, but also one of the most dangerous attackers in the world football at the moment, the perfect weapon to have ahead of the Champions League.

Top scorers

  • Edinson Cavani seven goals
  • Radamel Falcao seven goals
  • Quincy Promes six goals
  • Ricky van Wolfswinkel six goals
  • Leo Messi five goals
  • Paulo Dybala five goals
  • Jonas five goals

Sixteen of Cavani’s 26 shots have been on target, and 76% of his 65 passes have been successful. Cavani has proven to be dangerous running with the ball completing all four attempted take-ons this season, which will undoubtedly cause all sorts of problems for Celtic’s defence when they meet on the opening matchday.

The former Napoli attacker knows how to find the back of the net in Europe’s biggest continental competition, his eight goals last season was the third highest, trailing only Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, no surprises there. However, in terms of Cavani’s strike rate, those goals took his total to 25 in 44 appearances in the Champions League.

Unai Emery is spoiled for choice going forward with the aforementioned quartet, and that is before the likes of Julian Draxlar, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Lucas Moura come into the equation. Certainly not a bad attack, and one that Brendan Rodgers has undoubtedly been having nightmares over. How does one halt the onslaughts from Cavani, Neymar, and Mbappe? It’s the sort of combination that could make PSG the first French team to win the Champions League since Marseille in 1993.

It won’t be easy, Real Madrid are chasing three consecutive titles while the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Atletico Madrid are usual suspects around semi-final time. There is also a strong contingent from England this year too. However, if Cavani can continue his strong start the season then there’s no reason why it can’t be done. Throw in a little Mbappe and Neymar garnish, and PSG could be a real threat this time round.

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