Wayne Rooney hopes his partnership with Daniel Sturridge will provide England with some fireworks on Saturday night.
Rooney and Sturridge were the two most prolific English strikers in the Barclays Premier League last season, but the two have only started seven games together for their country.
Even though he is a Manchester United player, Rooney admits he greatly admires the “telepathic” communication Sturridge says he enjoys at Liverpool with Luis Suarez.
Now, after spending three weeks training together, the hope is that Rooney and Sturridge can develop a similar partnership at the World Cup.
“They’ve certainly been the best two frontmen in the Premier League this season, that’s for sure,” said Rooney of Suarez and Sturridge, who scored 48 Premier League goals between them.
“It’s easier (to build a partnership) at a club, where you have more time together, but we’ve had time to work on stuff where we haven’t in the past. Hopefully we’ll see the benefits of that.”
Sturridge did not make England’s Euro 2012 squad as he was struggling to score for Chelsea.
Sturridge was played out of position on the right for the Blues, but his career has kick-started since he moved to Liverpool, where he plays down the middle.
Rooney thinks Sturridge will be able to cause Italy problems when the two teams meet in their World Cup opener.
“He has turned into a top, top striker and it’s great to see,” Rooney added.
“(Liverpool manager) Brendan Rodgers deserves a lot of credit for his progress. He’s been all over the plqce but he went to Liverpool and played almost every game.”