Paris Saint-Germain boast two of the most lethal goal-scorers around with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani in their squad – but which man reigns supreme in the most formidable strike partnership in Europe?
The duo have collectively scored 14 goals in all competitions for the French club since Cavani arrived from Napoli for a whopping £55m fee – a fair sum considering the Uruguayan is shaping up to be one of the most clinical players around for years to come.
However, Cavani has been aided by the inventive genius of Ibrahimovic – and vice-versa – to enable an attacking partnership many thought would cancel out due to their similar qualities.
Although many of their goals have derived from intricate teamwork between the two forwards, 'Ibra' and the 26-year-old also seem to be fighting an underlying battle for the 'individual goal of the season' award – as suggested by their incredible goals in the 4-0 against Bastia last weekend.
But the real answers are revealed through statistics, not contentious awards. So, here are the head-to-head stats between Ibrahimovic and Cavani this season from ESPNFC.com.
French Ligue 1
Games started | Ibrahimovic: 10 | Cavani: 6
Goals | Ibrahimovic: 5 | Cavani: 6
Assists | Ibrahimovic: 3 | Cavani: 0
Shots per goal | Ibrahimovic: 9 | Cavani: 4.8
UEFA Champions League
Games started | Ibrahimovic: 2 | Cavani: 2
Goals | Ibrahimovic: 2 | Cavani: 1
Assists | Ibrahimovic: 0 | Cavani: 0
Shots per goal | Ibrahimovic: 3.5 | Cavani: 4
It would appear Cavani is more clinical than Ibrahimovic overall, but that could be pinned down to the Swede's more ambitious style. The ex-Napoli striker, more of a poacher-like predator, is more likely to lurk around the shoulder of the last defender in comparison to his teammate.
Ibrahimovic is known to have the occasional pop at goal from the long-range or a tight angle; as evident in some of best strikes of his career, lending to a lesser shots per goal ratio.
Following on from his deeper positioning, it's not surprising to see the former Barcelona forward top Cavani in assists. The giant Sweden international has sent teammates through on goal with spectacular flicks and dinks throughout his career, hence his underlying provider role when working alongside the Uruguayan.
In conclusion, Ibrahimovic is still the more vital cog in Laurent Blanc's expensively assembled machine due to his ability to feed his direct competitor whilst continuing to bang in a goal or two himself.
Who do you think is more important to PSG? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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