Sampdoria vs. Juventus, preview: The Old Lady ain't afraid of no bogeyman

Paolo Bruno

Sampdoria was the only side to do the double over Juve last season. But with Juventus determined to win their third scudetto in a row, don't expect Samp to come away with all the points.

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

Projected Lineups

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

Venue

Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa

TV

Sky Calcio 1, Sky Sport 1 (Italy); BT Sport (UK); BeIN Sport / BeIN Sport Play (US); RAI Internazionale

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