Totti fires warning to Juventus

Francesco Totti believes Roma can sound the clearest warning yet that they are title contenders by beating Juventus in their top-of-the-table clash Turin on Sunday.

As Roma's forward Gervinho (L) is congratulated by teammate Francesco Totti

The Giallorossi begin the second half of the campaign still unbeaten and five points adrift of the defending champions in the race for the Scudetto.

Roma appear the club most likely to stop Juve from claiming a hat-trick of titles and Totti believes they have a clear advantage in terms of individual talent.

Whether or not they can turn that into a sustained challenge until the end of the season remains to be seen and Totti concedes Juve - who have won their past nine league games - have the know-how to win trophies that his side lack.

"Juventus are impressive. They have a strong team. They are very solid and always want to win," Totti told Il Messaggero.

"I think we are stronger individually, but they have the upper hand as a team. They have been playing together for three years.

"The difference between us is that their players are used to each other. They have been winning a lot and that has only helped them grow as a team.

"It's a bit early to talk about the Scudetto as we're only halfway through the season, but it would be a big warning if we beat Juventus - for ourselves and for our rivals."

Juve's edge in experience is also set to be further boosted by the return of Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo.

The 34-year-old has missed the past three matches with a knee injury, but is ready to return after the Christmas break.

The short break has seen Juve duo Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal linked with moves away from the club during the winter transfer window, but defender Leonardo Bonucci believes there is a will amongst the entire squad to lift the Scudetto again.

With their Champions League run having also ended - Juve dropped have dropped into the Europa League - the domestic title is now the most prized trophy on Juve's list of targets.

"We have the quality and desire to win a third league title in a row," Bonucci told Juventus TV.

"This season Juve are different to other years because there is now an awareness that this team is strong. added to that we have seen players arrive that have allowed us to make a quantum leap.

"But what should not be overlooked is the spirit that characterises this team. The will to win that has been here in the past remains and we want to hit all of our targets."

Bonucci knows seeing off Roma would be an important step in doing that, adding: "This match will be a huge challenge.

"Games against Roma are always a difficult and we are obliged to play to our maximum throughout."

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