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Sep 18, 2012

Buffon: Juve are dark horses for UCL

Gigi Buffon accepts Juventus go into their match against Chelsea as underdogs but believes they are now "more of an effective unit" than at any time in the past.

• Lythell: Tricky opening night

Juventus are returning to the Champions League for the first time in three years and, speaking at a press conference ahead of what will be his 400th appearance for the Turin club, Buffon was in positive mood.

"We have more awareness of our potential than we did in 2009. Before we would rely on individual champions but now we are more and more becoming an effective unit," Buffon said.

"Naturally, Chelsea's players have a lot more combined Champions League experience than we do right now, so we are to be considered underdogs. However, there are three or four sides who are the favourites to win the trophy and I would put Juventus in the group just behind them."

The main question surrounding Juventus is how their imperious domestic form will carry into continental football after the Bianconeri went undefeated on their way to last term's title. T

Buffon replied: "I think our philosophy of football is actually more suitable for European competition than Serie A. Last season's Scudetto win was epic. Re-entering the Champions League as the champions of Italy gives us pride and confidence, we are fully aware that we must prove we are competitive."

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