The Italian national team is unlike many that we've seen in previous years as they go into the 2014 World Cup brimming with confidence.
This is one of the first Azzurri sides that is uncannily much more attack-based than defensive-minded.
With that being said, the wealth of attacking options at the front is staggering, with plenty of pure No.9s and attacking wingers who could positively contribute to the cause, as Cesare Prandelli looks to add another star to Italy's storied history in the competition.
A new generation is upon us, and the biggest surprise has been Ciro Immobile, the Torino striker who is currently the second-leading goalscorer in Serie A. Immobile only has one less goal than Carlos Tevez, and he has done it for a provincial club like Torino.
Anyone who followed the 24-year-old striker during his early days in Serie B wouldn't be as surprised with his current output. After all, it was Immobile who spearheaded the Pescara side that terrorized the second division and secured promotion to Serie A. His 28 goals with the club were noted by top-tier clubs looking to reinforce themselves, and the Juventus co-owned striker got his chance with Genoa.
Only five goals would ensue, but that was more because of Genoa's tumultuous ownership than the striker's ability.
This season, he has formed an exceptional partnership with Alessio Cerci, as they have led Torino to a comfortable mid-table position.
Immobile's performances have drawn the eye of Italian national team coach Cesare Prandelli, who considers the youngster a serious option for the main rotation at the World Cup.
But with the way Immobile has been scoring, he has to be included in the starting XI assuming he can keep his form up.
If Prandelli sticks with a 4-3-3 formation, Immobile could fill the center of the attack, allowing someone like Mario Balotelli to play off of him on the left side where he could be more effective.
Immobile has fantastic predator instincts in the box and is good in the air, while Balotelli's main assets are his long-distance shooting and underrated creative ability.
|Ciro Immobile Goals|
Allowing the two to play together would give Italy a multidimensional attack that could harm opponents in a variety of ways.
Immobile will be hoping to continue catching Prandelli's eye, as the competition for a starting striker position is fierce.
Other than Balotelli, Prandelli has called up the likes of Alberto Gilardino and Mattia Destro. There's also the possibility of Giuseppe Rossi returning to form and getting a late call-up.
Assuming the young striker doesn't have a dramatic downfall, it would be a shame not to see him line up for Italy's first match against England.
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