With just days to go before the tournament kicks off, it's still too difficult to predict which strikers will play. Injuries and the formation Lippi chooses to play will obviously have an impact, but right now, none of the strikers seem to be doing much to push their cause.
Where England have at least one guaranteed starter in Wayne Rooney, Italy don't have anyone who stands head and shoulders above his competitors. All have their own merits, and all know that the role of star striker is up for grabs, IF they can put in the right performances.
Against Mexico, Lippi started with an attacking 3, with Di Natale on the left, Iaquinta on the right and Gilardino in the middle. None of the players particularly impressed in the defeat to the Mexicans, so Lippi threw Pazzini and Quagliarella into the mix to try and have some kind of attacking impetus. It kind of worked.
Against Switzerland, just a few days ago, Lippi mixed up his whole squad, and started with Pazzini and Quagliarella. Quagliagol held the ball up well enough, and scored, but Pazzini was obviously still suffering from all that fitness training they've been doing in the Alps. Gilardino was ineffective when he came on as sub.
With the Italians struggling for goals, one of these strikers needs to step up to the plate and start scoring goals. The opportunity is there for any of the strikers to make the number 9 spot their own. Even if they are not one of the chosen few at the start, a goal coming on as a sub would practically guarantee a place in the starting line-up for the next match, and the chance to prove how good they are in front of 500m fans worldwide.
There is a chance to be the new Toto Schillaci or Paolo Rossi. Lets hope one of them takes it.