With the announcement of Fabio Capello's England World Cup squad for South Africa fast approaching, the Italian will have most of the names pencilled in. But his selection of which and how many strikers he will be taking is certainly one of many decisions that he will still be considering right up to the deadline.
Due to his lack of obvious options, this writer is of the opinion that Capello will take five strikers to the World Cup. It has been a mistake in the past when managers have only taken four strikers, so I don't think the current England manager will risk it.
Wayne Rooney is of course a certainty barring injury so that would leave four positions up for grabs. Capello's preferred starting partner for Rooney throughout the qualifiers has been Emile Heskey. Despite his lack of goals and any current form, I think the big target man will definitely be on the plane.
Jermaine Defoe is one of the best natural finishers in the Premier league and is fairly unique in the type of threat he provides. His only direct competition was Michael Owen who is now injured. So that would likely mean that Defoe is inked in for the third striker spot.
Defoe's Tottenham teammate Peter Crouch also provides a unique proposition for opposing teams. His international strike rate is superb at almost a goal every two games and he has been a regular part of the England set-up for the last few seasons. In my mind he is on the plane with the other three players I have already mentioned.
So if Capello goes with five strikers as I think he will, who would be number five? For me there is only one choice on current form.
Bobby Zamora is playing himself onto the plane for South Africa. He has had a superb season for Fulham and he continued that today by inspiring Fulham to beat Juventus and progress in the Europa League. He gave Fabio Cannavaro, an international centre half, the run around and scored the opening goal for Fulham.
The nomadic striker who has struggled to settle at a club during an up-and-down career finally appears to be happy and thriving under the experienced tutelage of Roy Hodgson at Fulham. Gifted with pace, strength, and two good feet, he is capable on his day of giving any defence a run around as his performance against Juventus proved.
He has added goals to his game this season and is easily as good as Heskey in terms of holding the ball up and bringing other players into the game. His versatility up front and capability to play in different formations make him a great addition to the England squad.
As strange as it may have seemed at the start of the season could we yet see Bobby Zamora at the World Cup? I for one think so!!