A content Edinson Cavani represents a danger to Barcelona in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Paris Saint-Germain, according to visiting boss Luis Enrique.
Reigning Ligue 1 champions PSG saw talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic leave to join Manchester United after his contract expired at the end of last season, but Cavani has done an superb job of filling the void.
Deployed in the central striking role in which he revelled at Napoli, the Uruguay star has 33 goals in 31 appearances across all competitions this season, including six in six in the Champions League.
It follows three seasons of supporting Ibrahimovic, predominantly from out wide, and Barca’s head coach feels PSG are now reaping the benefits of having the 29-year-old playing to his strengths.
“Cavani’s stats are similar to what he achieved at Napoli,” Luis Enrique told a pre-match news conference. “He is a great centre forward, he does the job in the area.
“Very few players can match what he is doing. It is good news for PSG and I think he is happier than perhaps when he wasn’t scoring as many because he was playing in another position.”
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 13, 2017
As a three-time Europa League winner during his time with Sevilla, Unai Emery was identified as a threat by opposite number Luis Enrique due to his pedigree on big European nights and familiarity with Barca’s all-star side.
“Knowing Unai, I am sure they will come out strong at us,” he said. “They will try to put pressure on us. It will be an attractive game
“He’s a manager who knows us very well. I don’t know if any manager has played Barcelona more often than Unai Emery. He knows to perfection what we will do and that is an added danger.
“No doubt he is one of the best managers in Spanish football, one of the most successful on a European level.
“He studies the opposition very clearly and tries to combat them, understanding their approach and their philosophy.
“Compared to previous seasons, PSG are more orderly around the ball, more structured.”
PSG will be without centre-back Thiago Silva, after their captain failed to recover from a calf problem.
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