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Higuain buoyed by Mandzukic partnership

Gonzalo Higuain is encouraged by his fledgling strike partnership with Mario Mandzukic at Juventus.

Higuain secured a €90million switch to Turin from Napoli during the close season and there have been resulting teething problems, with Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri trying various combinations from Higuain, Mandzukic and last term’s top scorer Paulo Dybala.

But after Dybala suffered a thigh injury in the 1-0 defeat to AC Milan, Higuain and Mandzukic have been thrown together to good effect over the past week.

Mandzukic opened the scoring in a 4-1 midweek romp over Sampdoria, while Higuain netted decisively to sink former employers Napoli in an emotionally charged contest.

“Myself and Mario are coming on well as a pair,” said the Argentina international ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League Group H encounter with Lyon, for which Dybala will be on the sidelines again.

“The whole season is ahead of us. The more we play, the better our understanding will be.”

With Saturday’s testing encounter out of the way, Higuain is focused on gaining the victory that would see the Serie A champions through to the knockout stages with two games to spare.

“Scoring on Saturday was a unique feeling,” said the ex-Real Madrid striker. “Fortunately we won, but it ends there.

“My job is to score goals but also to give my all for the team.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play in the Champions League for years now. It’s a top competition and one we want to win.

“A win would see us through to the last 16 and would tick off our first objective of the season.

“I’m very happy here and have been ever since I arrived. We’re top of Serie A and going strong in the Champions League.”

Tue 1 Nov, 2016
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