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Juve still the team to beat – Hernanes

Hernanes insists Juventus are still “the team to beat” in Serie A, despite their shaky start to the new season.

The reigning champions in Italy have failed to pick up a point from their opening two matches, suffering a shock 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Udinese on the opening weekend before losing 2-1 away at Roma.

However, new boy Hernanes – who arrived on transfer deadline day from domestic rivals Inter – believes the new faces in the Juve squad just need time to settle in.

As well as the Brazilian, the club signed fellow midfielder Mario Lemina on Monday, following on from the additions of Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala, Sami Khedira and Simone Zaza.

“You can’t judge anything in football after one or two games,” Hernanes said at his introductory press conference.

“Juventus have done well for four years, everyone inside and outside Italy knows their strength.

“Some important players have left, and one of the strengths was that the team hadn’t changed much in four years. Now we have to learn to fill the space left by those players.

“But right now, for me, this is the team to beat in Italy and in Europe.”

Juventus’ squad has seen major changes from the group that won the title and reached the UEFA Champions League final last season.

Key trio Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal have all departed, though chief executive Giuseppe Marotta is happy with the new additions made during the window.

“The players who left us weren’t easy to replace. We’ve decided to create a squad with a blend of youth and experience,” he said.

Wed 2 Sep, 2015
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