That’s the opinion of former Liverpool defender and Scotland international Steve Nicol.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker scored a brace in his country’s 2-1 last-16 win over Portugal last weekend with Uruguay having won all four of their matches in Russia.
But the delight of progressing to the last eight was offset by the disappointment of their three-goal front-man limping off through injury after an off-the-ball incident.
Cavani sustained a calf problem and only returned to training on Thursday, which is likely to mean that Uruguay have to reshuffle their attack as they look to their defensive resilience to help thwart a rampant France side.
But Nicol believes that Cavani’s certain absence will be too great a disadvantage for Oscar Tabarez’s team – who have conceded just one goal at the tournament so far.
“I think the importance Cavani has to Uruguay is huge,” Nicol – who played at the 1986 World Cup – told ESPN FC.
“Basically, if I’m the coach of Uruguay, as long as I’ve got Suarez and Cavani up-front, all I need to really do is make sure that defensively we’re organised in the middle of the park and at the back.
“You just get them the ball and the chemistry they have, the connection, it’s as good as a lot of other teams in this World Cup.
“The fact is, Cavani won’t play. I’m 100 per-cent sure. You don’t recover from a calf strain in that short a space.
“That changes the whole game. Who are they going to get up-front who is anywhere close to Cavani? The truth is, they don’t have anybody.
“This is going to be a dogged, try and nick something at any possible opportunity game against a France team that are just going to be too strong.”