Ten of European footballs most in – form strikers


Euro 2016

There is a quartet of strikers in European football who invariably outshine all others.

Nevertheless aside from Barcelona’s attacking triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, along with Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, there are currently many other in-form European based strikers, who play for clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League.

As well as showcasing their skills in European football’s elite club competition, the following list, which is far from exhaustive, profiles ten strikers performing extremely among the continent’s top leagues.

Sergio Aguero

Prolific is the only way to describe the 28-year-old Manchester City striker’s goal – scoring form this season, as in just six appearances, Aguero has scored 11 goals.

The first three of those arrived against Steaua Bucharest, as despite also missing two penalties, he inspired his team to a 5-0 victory over the Romanian side in the first leg of their Champions League Play-Off tie.

Subsequently Aguero scored a second Champions League hat – trick as Manchester City opened their group stage campaign with a 4-0 home win over Borrussia Monchengladbach.

Aguero has been able to replicate his razor sharp finishing on the continent in the English Premier League.  He most recently did so against Swansea City as he returned from serving a three-game domestic suspension, after being found guilty of violent misconduct for elbowing West Ham’s Winston Reid, to score twice against the Welsh side and continue his rich vein of form.

Islam Slimani

The 28-year-old Algerian internationalist striker has seamlessly settled into Leicester City’s side, since joining the current English Premier League Champions for £29m from Sporting Lisbon at the end of August.

In addition to scoring two headers to help Claudio Ranieri’s side to a 3-0 league victory over Burnley, Slimani further displayed his aerial prowess against Porto in the Champions League.

Specifically he guided a fine diving header beyond Iker Casillas to give Leicester a 1-0 win.

That goal was Slimani’s sixth in matches with Porto during 2016, since he scored five times in three appearances for his former club Sporting Lisbon against Dragoes, and earned him the title of becoming the first Algerian to score for more than one club in the Champions League.

Son Heung Min

In his last five appearances for Tottenham, the 24-year-old South Korean has scored five goals, including his first in the Champions League against CSKA Moscow.

That proved to be the winning goal, as Son collected a fine Erik Lamela pass to finish composedly, very similar to the way in which he did when scoring double in the English Premier League against Stoke and Middlesbrough.

In doing so the former Bayer Leverkusen striker has established himself top scorer for Spurs, with him enjoying an extended run in Mauricio’s Pochettino’s side.

Alexis Sanchez

A key member of Arsene Wenger’s ever improving Arsenal team, Sanchez is currently amidst a wonderful run of form, whereby he is vividly portraying his great awareness, electrifying pace and wealth of technical skill.

That was most recently in evidence during Arsenal’s 3-0 English Premier League victory over Chelsea, the diminutive Chilean was a vocal point of many of the Gunners best attacking moves.

In addition to his four league goals this season, three of which have arrived away from the Emirates Stadium Sanchez’s late equaliser against Paris Saint Germain earned his team a valuable point from their opening Champions League group stage game.

Arkadiusz Milik

The monumental challenge of replacing Gonzalo Higuain as Napoli’s leading striker is one that the 22-year-old Polish internationalist is currently embracing wonderfully well.

At present Milik is averaging a goal a game for Partenopei, having scored six times in six appearances for the Serie A club, whom he joined from Ajax.

In addition to scoring braces against AC Milan and Bologna, Milik also achieved that feat in the Champions League to inspire Napoli to an excellent 2-1 away victory over Dynamo Kiev

Edinson Cavani

Since the summer departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani has assumed the role of Paris Saint Germain’s leading striker, with the Uruguayan having scored five goals in three Ligue 1 appearances.

Furthermore the former Napoli player also put his team ahead in their opening Champions League group stage game against Arsenal, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

A week prior to that game, Cavani scored twice for Uruguay to help his country to a 4-0 win over Paraguay, as Los Charruas moved to the top of the 2018 World Cup Qualification’s South American section.

Javier Hernandez

Despite missing Bayer Leverkusen’s opening league match of the season due a broken hand, Chicarito has subsequently recovered from that injury to play an important role for Roger Schmidt’s team.

Hernandez has been particularly influential for Leverkusen in their last two matches.

Specifically whilst the former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker’s hat-trick powered Leverkusen to a 3-2 Bundesliga victory over Mainz 05, he earned his team a creditable 1-1 draw away to Monaco in the Champions League by scoring a late equalising goal.

Gonzalo Higuain

Since becoming the third most expensive player in the history of world football, after joining Juventus from Napoli for €90m, Higuain has made an extremely positive impression for the Turin giants.

On his debut for La Vecchia Signoro, Higuain scored the winning goal as the current Serie A champions beat Fiorentina 2-1.

Since then the former Real Madrid striker has found the net four times in seven appearances, as his partnership with fellow Argentinean Paulo Dybala continues to evolve.

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

Borussia Dortmund’s top scorer for the past two seasons, Aubameyang has commenced the current campaign tremendously well, whereby the former St-Etienne player has scored seven goals in just six appearances.

In addition to scoring in both of his club’s Champions League group stage games, against Legia Warsaw and Real Madrid, Aubameyang, who despite beginning his career at AC Milan did not play a competitive game for I Rossoneri , has also exercised great predatory instinct to help Dortmund win four of their first five Bundesliga games.

The Gabonese international striker is currently enhancing his reputation as one of the finest all round strikers in European football, with his two Champions League goals this term, adding to the three he scored during Dortmund’s run to the last 16 of the 2014-2015 edition of the competition.

One striker to outscore Aubameyang in the aforementioned run was Ciro Immobile, with the 26-year-old’s four group stage goals, vital in helping Dortmund progress to a the knock-out stage.  However Immobile has since left the club and is currently Lazio’s top scorer in Serie A with two goals, albeit four behind the division’s leading marksman Mauro Icardi.

Antoine Greizmann

The Euro 2016 player of the tournament and golden boot winner is currently the joint top scorer in La Liga, alongside Barcelona’s Luis Suarez, with five goals.

The most recent of those was against Deportivo La Coruna, as a typically cool Greizmann finish gave Diego Simeone’s side a 1-0 victory and propelled them to third place in Spain’s top flight.

Given his excellent current form, Greizmann’s prospects of surpassing his best La Liga goals haul for a season of 22, appear extremely healthy.

Ultimately whilst each of the ten strikers profiled possess many different qualities, they share an innate ability to score goals and spearhead the attacks of their respective teams extremely well.

Intense competition for striking roles at Leicester City

Euro 2016

In simple terms, Leicester City won last season’s English Premier League title courtesy of a wonderful team effort, to which a whole host of players contributed immensely, including the forward trio of Shinji Okazaki, Leonardo Ulloa and Jamie Vardy.

Forward trio prominent in Leicester’s title winning campaign

Whilst Vardy invariably spearheaded Leicester’s attack, scoring 24 of his team’s 68 Premier League goals, he was ably supported by Okazaki, who manager Claudio Ranieri preferred to partner alongside the England internationalist, ahead of Ulloa.

Nevertheless the Argentine striker optimised the playing opportunities afforded to him by Ranieri, making a positive impact during many of his 29 appearances, 22 of which were as a substitute.

As well as scoring six goals, Ulloa added another dimension to Leicester’s attack, as his greater aerial presence presented opposition defenders with a different challenge to the pace and trickery of Vardy and Okazaki.

The Japanese international striker, who was signed from Mainz 05 for £7m in July 2015, scored five goals in 36 Premier League appearances and formed an excellent partnership with Vardy.

Arrivals of Musa and Slimani strengthen Ranieri’s attacking options

Subsequently whilst retaining the three forwards who played prominent roles in their title winning campaign, during the summer transfer window, Leicester also signed Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani, who are both set to challenge Okazaki for the role of partnering Vardy in attack.

By acquiring Musa and Slimani, Ranieri has enhanced both the depth and quality of Leicester’s striking options, as the duo are blessed with many attributes which are markedly different and complementary to those possessed by Okazaki, Ulloa and Vardy.

In contrast to Slimani, who similar to Ulloa is an aerially strong, physical and powerful centre forward, Musa is a quick, skilful and versatile player.  Those qualities enable Musa to operate well in any role along the forward line, as he dynamically drifts around the field to link-up play, whilst the Nigerian internationalist is also well accustomed at both creating and scoring goals.

Quartet to engage in intense competition to partner Vardy

So far this campaign Musa, who Leicester signed from CSKA Moscow for £16.6m, has shared the responsibility of being Vardy’s striker partner with Okazaki, as of Leicester’s three Premier League games the former VVV-Venlo player has started one and appeared as a substitute in two, a reversal of which represents the nature of his Japanese colleague’s appearances.

Whilst Slimani is yet to make his Leicester debut, after joining the club from Sporting Lisbon for £29.7m on transfer deadline day, the 28-year-old Algerian internationalist will aspire to displace both Musa and Okazaki as Vardy’s strike partner, with the competition for that role being extremely intense, particularly since Ulloa is still available for Ranieri to select.

Variety of attacking options can help Leicester prosper

Therefore the 64-year-old Italian has a quintent of quality attacking options who are each capable of helping Leicester enjoy prosperous domestic and European campaigns, as the club are set to compete in the Champions League for the first time.

That is a competition in which both Musa and Slimani have experience of playing for CSKA Moscow and Sporting Lisbon respectively, whilst the trio of Okazaki, Ulloa and Vardy will relish the opportunity to play in Europe’s elite club tournament.

Ultimately whilst the talismanic Vardy is destined to be the chief character assigned the duty of spearheading Leicester’s front line during the current season, the likelihood is that Ranieri will select the other forward to partner him on a game-by-game basis, so as to retain a freshness and vibrancy to the Foxes attack.

That lacked potency and sharpness in Leicester’s first two games of the season against Hull and Arsenal, although the effective Okazaki-Vardy partnership of last season was in evidence as the foxes beat Swansea 2-1.

Also appearing in that game were Musa and Ulloa, to provide a clear indication that Ranieri intends to provide each of his forwards with the playing time this season.

The extent to which that will be the case is as yet unclear, whilst far more certain is that intense competition is set to involve among Leicester’s forward players to fill the club’s striking berths.

Benfica host Braga in Portugal’s Top Weekend Game

League leaders Benfica will host Braga on Friday, April 1st in the Primeira Liga’s top game of the weekend. Benfica will be desperate for a win in order to maintain the advantage over second place Sporting Lisbon and third place Porto.

Porto have the easiest fixture out of the top 3 teams yet they are six points behind leaders Benfica. Porto will play host to bottom of the table Tondela. Porto rely heavily on their multi-dimensional defender Miguel Layún, midfielder Yacine Brahimi, and strikers Vincent Aboubaker & Hyun Jun Suk.

The Mexican international footballer Layún is on loan from English Premier League club Watford and is having a great season with Porto. He already has 4 goals and has provided a remarkable tally of 14 assists.

Second place Sporting Lisbon travel to face Belenenses in a match the Lisbon side ought to win. Sporting rely heavily on striker Islam Slimani as well as midfielders João Mário and Adrien Silva. Striker Slimani has already managed to score 20 goals in league play and his teammates will be looking for him to add to his tally against Belenenses.

Going back to league leaders Benfica, they will face a tricky match against Braga who are in fourth and have the third best defensive record in the Primeira Liga. Benfica will try to breakdown Braga’s defensive line with strikers Jonas Gonçalves Oliveira and Kostas Mitroglou.



Between them the attacking duo have found the back of the net 44 times in the Portuguese League! Veteran Brazilian scorer Jonas has found the net an impressive 29 times in just 27 league games while his partner Greek striker Mitroglou has scored 15 goals. Jonas has also added an impressive 9 assists to his contributions to Benfica’s attack.

Will Benfica win against Braga on the back of the Jonas-Kostas partnership? Will Porto keep up with a home win to maintain whatever slim chances they have of winning the league?

You can always follow the results of the Portuguese League live by clicking here.