Juventus travel to Genova to begin their title defense, facing off against Sampdoria at the Marassi. The Old Lady are looking for a three-peat, seeking the scudetto once again, and very few would argue that they're not the favorites to host this season's victory parade. Sampdoria, meanwhile, are just trying to stay afloat once again, although they did manage to finish 10 points above the relegation zone last season.
Doria also go into the record books as the only side Juventus failed to take points from last season, doing the double over the already-crowned champions on the final day of the season. However, that came at the tail end of a streak of ten winless matches -- not exactly the way Sampdoria want to start their season.
Samp got off to an easy start last week, facing Lega Pro side Benevento in the third round of Coppa Italia. Manolo Gabbiadini, co-owned by Juventus, scored both goals for Sampdoria. Will he try to impress the bianconeri by scoring a couple more, or will he play it nice and wait until next week to take that opportunity?
Goodness knows Juventus won't be holding back one bit - they want that third title and they want it as soon as possible. Fortunately Antonio Conte has an almost completely healthy squad to choose from. Only Claudio Marchisio is missing from his regulars, after leaving the Supercoppa match against Lazio with a knee injury. But considering Juventus went on to win 4-0, they're probably just fine.
And Paul Pogba as a replacement player isn't going to frighten anyone but the bianconeri opponents. In less than two minutes after stepping on as a sub against Lazio, the young midfielder turned, received a pass, turned again and fired straight into the back of the net, kicking off Juve's Supercoppa rout. In other words, go ahead and put your money on the reigning champions.
Sampdoria Injuries and Suspensions
Out: Vasco Regini and Renan (suspended) In Doubt: n/a
Juventus Injuries and Suspensions
Out: Claudio Marchisio (injured) In Doubt: Simone Pepe
Sampdoria: Da Costa; Gastaldello, Palombo, Costa; De Silvestri, Eramo, Krsticic, Obiang, Castellini; Sansone, Gabbiadini
Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Vucinic, Tevez
Match Date / Time
Saturday, August 24 at 8:45 p.m. local / 2:45 p.m. ET
Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
Sky Calcio 1, Sky Sport 1 (Italy); BT Sport (UK); BeIN Sport / BeIN Sport Play (US); RAI Internazionale