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Serie A weekend preview

Juventus start the new Serie A season at the same venue where the last one ended in defeat - but Mirko Vucinic is confident of a better result as the Bianconeri embark on a quest for a third consecutive title.

Last Updated: 23/08/13 at 08:51 Post Comment

Antonio Conte: Takes his side to Sampdoria

Antonio Conte: Takes his side to Sampdoria

Antonio Conte's men had already successfully retained the Scudetto won from AC Milan when they visited Sampdoria last May, but a limp 3-2 defeat completed a surprise season double for the Ligurians and ruined Juve's party plans.

The Stadio Luigi Ferraris beckons again on Saturday night and Montenegrin striker Vucinic hopes the confidence boost gained from dominating Lazio in last week's curtain-raising Italian Supercoppa helps his colleagues make amends.

He told juventus.com: "We still have the hunger and we want to keep on winning while we write history for Juventus.

"It's been a superb start to the campaign. Just a few months after our Scudetto triumph we brought the Supercoppa home too, against a really difficult opponent but thanks to an extraordinary display from the team.

"It's a really important trophy and it's given us the grit and strength we need to start the season in the best way possible."

The first official game of the new season kicks off several hours earlier as Hellas Verona celebrate their return to the top flight against high-profile opposition in AC Milan.

The Gialloblu are eager to make a mark after spending 12 years in exile while Massimiliano Allegri's Milan prepare another title bid having rallied to finish third last time out.

Napoli were the closest challengers to Juve, however, and incoming coach Rafael Benitez has transformed what was already an intimidating attacking line-up by luring Real Madrid stars Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon to the Stadio San Paolo, where Bologna try their luck on Sunday.

Leaving Naples was Walter Mazzarri, who has been tasked with restoring Inter Milan to their former glory following a dismal ninth-placed finish. Their opponents on Sunday afternoon, Genoa, are also desperate to improve having narrowly missed out on relegation.

There has been a serious squad overhaul at Roma where French boss Rudi Garcia has beaten several European suitors to the signing of Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman while taking a gamble on Arsenal misfit Gervinho, whose best days came under his tutelage at Lille.

Livorno welcome the Giallorossi to the Stadio Armando Picchi for its first top-flight game since 2010 and Serie B champions Sassuolo are in action at Torino.

Coppa Italia winners Lazio will look to banish bad memories of their 4-0 Supercoppa defeat to Juventus with a positive result against Udinese while Fiorentina, last season's leading exponents of attractive football, host Catania.

Much-travelled striker Antonio Cassano, meanwhile, starts a new chapter with perennial European challengers Parma with Chievo the first visitors to the Stadio Ennio Tardini.

And while Cagliari continue to appeal for the right to play their home games in Sardinia, their season starts over 1,000 kilometres away in Trieste against Stefano Colantuono's Atalanta.

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Readers' Comments

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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