The new Serie A season may be only one match old, but Juventus forward Vincenzo Iaquinta is already talking up his side's title chances. La Vecchia Signora finished third last season and began this campaign with a solid 1-1 draw at potential scudetto rivals Fiorentina.
Under new coach Jose Mourinho, Inter Milan were held to a 1-1 draw at Sampdoria in their opening fixture as they hunt a fourth successive crown. But Iaquinta thinks he's seen enough to proclaim his team to be as good as their Milanese rivals.
"Inter are a great team but this Juve side are at the same level," said the Italian international. "That missed opportunity at Fiorentina has left a bitter taste in the mouth but my team sent out a warning the other night in Florence. We played a great match against opponents that have got stronger."
Juventus took a first-half lead and missed a couple of good chances, before a late Alberto Gilardino strike earned ten-man Fiorentina a draw. But Iaquinta believes that his side can once again become a force in Italian and European football.
They have received a tough draw in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League, though, grouped with Spanish champions Real Madrid and UEFA Cup holders Zenit. "I'm sure that regardless of the difficulty of the group, which includes a Zenit team that were mightily impressive against Manchester United, we can also do well in the Champions League."
Zenit beat United in the European Super Cup on Friday, and are thought to be one of the dark horses for continental glory this season. But big things are also expected of Juventus, despite the fact the team has been almost completely rebuilt over the last two years.
Even Fiorentina defender Alessandro Gamberini agreed with Iaquinta's assessment. ", partly because they have more hunger," he said.