Buffon bullish over Juve challenge

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has said his team's ongoing run of seven consecutive victories has given them confidence to challenge for the Serie A title.

The Italy No1 has been missing from that sequence with a back injury that appears set to rule him out till 2009.

However, the 30-year-old told Juventus's official website that his absence, along with other key players David Trezeguet and Mauro Camoranesi, has demonstrated the squad's strength.

"The last few games have shown that I'm not indispensible. My team-mates have reacted in the best way to a difficult period.

"Continuing this way and with (Alessandro) Del Piero in the form he is, you can start to dream and push for all our objectives, including the championship."

Del Piero has been highly impressive in recent weeks. He scored twice in Juve's UEFA Champions League win at Real Madrid, and then again with a free-kick against Chievo.

Buffon added that he is not surprised by the veteran forward's set-piece success. "Stopping his free-kicks is only possible if you play together," he said.

"Certainly when the kick is like the one in Verona (against Chievo) it is difficult to stop. Ale is a perfectionist, in every training session he is more and more pernickety."