Serie A Preview: Juventus, Napoli face tricky starts
By Football News
Champions Juventus open the new Serie A season with a trip to one of only the three grounds they lost at in 2012-13.
Antonio Conte's side face Sampdoria at Stadio Luigi Ferraris - where they were beaten 3-2 on the final day of last season - on Saturday.
Juventus have made significant additions to their squad ahead of the new term, with Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente the stand-out names.
Both players will be hoping to open their accounts for their new club on the first day, while Manolo Gabbiadini is set to make his Sampdoria debut against his former side.
Napoli have also had a productive close-season as they attempt to close the gap on Juventus, having finished second in Serie A in 2012-13.
Rafael Benitez has replaced Walter Mazzarri in the hot-seat and he will have a host of new names available for Sunday's visit of Bologna.
Star striker Edinson Cavani may have left, but Benitez has added Pepe Reina, Gonzalo Higuain, Dries Mertens, Jose Maria Callejon and Raul Albiol to his squad.
However, they will have to be careful against a Bologna side that won twice at the Sao Paolo last season, scoring three goals on both occasions in the league and the Italian Cup.
Mazzarri left Naples to join Inter and he begins his tenure at San Siro at home to Genoa on Sunday.
Inter had a poor campaign under Andrea Stramaccioni last term, and the new coach is expected to make wholesale changes in order to make sure the club once again challenges at the top of the table.
Genoa have not beaten Inter since 1994, although they did pick up draws in both games last season.
Serie A new boys Verona, Livorno and Sassuolo all face tough trips on the opening weekend of the season.
Verona welcome Milan side off the back of Masimiliano Allegri's side's 1-1 draw with PSV in the UEFA Champions League play-off round on Tuesday.
New Roma coach Rudi Garcia takes charge of his first game in their visit to Livorno. The Frenchman has made 13 new signings in the close-season, including highly-rated Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman.
Sassuolo's first Serie A game in their 91-year history sees them travel to face Torino.
Head coach Eusebio Di Francesco guided the club to the Serie B title by three points last year, and he will be hoping they can cause an upset against a Torino side who struggled in the top flight last season.
Elsewhere, Cagliari face Atalanta, Lazio and Udinese go head-to-head at Stadio Olimpico and Vincenzo Montella's Fiorentina - who have signed the likes of Joaquin and Mario Gomez in the close-season - host Catania.