International Soccer - Italy

Juve begins quest for third straight title at Sampdoria

Genoa, Italy (Sports Network) - Juventus will be favored to claim its third successive Scudetto this season, and Antonio Conte's men will begin defense of that crown on Saturday at Sampdoria.

Juventus ended last season with a 3-2 defeat at Sampdoria, but had already locked up the league title, and Conte will be bringing some new faces to the Luigi Ferraris this weekend.

The Turin outfit bolstered its attacking options over the summer with the addition of forwards Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente. And if last weekend's 4-0 thrashing of Lazio in the Italian Super Cup is any indication, Juve appears to be even more formidable than last term.

Napoli finished second to Juventus last season, but the club saw leading scorer Edinson Cavani depart for PSG this summer.

However, Napoli still figures to mount a title push this season with new manager Rafael Benitez at the helm.

The former Liverpool and Inter Milan boss was able to recruit a host of new players to Naples, including Pepe Reina, Gonzalo Higuain, Dries Mertens, Jose Maria Callejon and Raul Albiol.

Napoli will open its season on Sunday with a home match against Bologna, which won at Napoli last term.

Walter Mazzarri managed Napoli last season but he will be making his league debut as Inter Milan boss on Sunday when the Nerazzurri welcomes Genoa to the San Siro.

Inter will be eager to erase the memory of last season, which saw the club finish in ninth place, while Genoa was able to stave off relegation with a 17th-place finish.

AC Milan is coming off of a 1-1 draw with PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday in Champions League qualifying and the Rossoneri will visit promoted Hellas Verona.

The other two promoted sides, Livorno and Sassuolo, will be in action on Sunday as Livorno hosts Roma, while Sassuolo will be playing in its first Serie A game in the 91-year history of the club with an away match against Torino.

Also on Sunday, Cagliari hosts Atalanta, Udinese visits Lazio and Parma squares off with Chievo.

The weekend rounds out on Monday with Fiorentina entertaining Catania.

08/23 11:22:58 ET

Powered by The Sports Network.