Rome - Italy's Serie A football season kicks off with a match between Verona and Roma on Saturday at 6 pm. This means the season begins a week earlier than usual, in a bid to finish earlier and allow Italy coach Antonio Conte time to prepare for the Europa Cup.
There are 10 days to go before the summer transfer window closes, the squads are incomplete and initial predictions can be even more misleading. Football commentators believe that the latest acquisitions will do nothing to change the leitmotiv of the season, which is the match between Rudi Garcia's Roma and Juventus. Juve are aiming for their fifth scudetto (championship victory) in a row.
Roma's purchase of Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah should help partly fill the gap between them and the Bianconeri, who may well rue the loss of Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal despite being favourites to win. Lazio play Bologna on Saturday, with Lazio focusing on their return match against Bayer Leverkusen, which could see them move into the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Juventus is set for a home match against Udinese on Sunday at 6 pm, with Fiorentina at home to Milan, Inter Milan at home to Atlanta and Sassuolo at home to Napoli. Expectations and curiosity are running high for the much-altered Milan squad and for Napoli under coach Maurizio Sarri. Sunday night's line-up also includes Empoli-Chievo, Frosinone-Torino, Palermo-Genoa and Sampdoria-Carpi. Goal-line technology is being used for the first time and there will be all-encompassing TV coverage.
Serie A will be broadcast live by Sky, Mediaset Premium and the new Serie A TV chanel in Italy, but almost 200 other countries will take matches every day. (AGI)