Serie A Schedule Released: Juventus in Tough Spot to Begin Scudetto Defense

Jerrad Peters@@jerradpetersWorld Football Staff WriterJuly 29, 2013

Milan's Nigel de Jong and new Juventus striker Carlos Tevez will go head to head in Week 7 in Turin.
Milan's Nigel de Jong and new Juventus striker Carlos Tevez will go head to head in Week 7 in Turin.Dino Panato/Getty Images

Juventus face a difficult start to the 2013-14 Serie A campaign as they look to defend the Scudetto.

Champions of Italy in each of the past two seasons, the Bianconeri will open their schedule away to Sampdoria, and then face Coppa Italia winners Lazio before a Derby d’Italia showdown with Inter Milan at the San Siro. Four matchdays later, they’ll welcome AC Milan to Turin.

This instalment of Serie A—the 82nd running of the Italian top flight—will begin the weekend of August 24-25 and conclude nearly nine months later on May 18, 25 days before the start of the World Cup in Brazil.

Title rivals Napoli, who lost top-scorer Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month before reloading with a handful of summer signings including Gonzalo Higuain, Dries Mertens and Raul Albiol, will begin the season at home to Bologna ahead of what should be straightforward appointments against Chievo and Atalanta.

AC Milan, who finished third last season, are away to Hellas Verona in Week 1 and will entertain Cagliari at the San Siro the following weekend before a mid-September encounter with Torino. The Rossoneri will also be contesting a UEFA Champions League playoff tie during the first few weeks of their Serie A campaign.

Local rivals Inter will look to improve on last term’s ninth-place finish when they host Genoa, and transfer-happy Fiorentina (they have acquired several players including Mario Gomez, Massimo Ambrosini, Joaquin and Josip Ilicic already this summer) will be given its first test at home to Catania.

La Gazzetta dello Sport’s 2013-14 calendar can be downloaded here.

Five new managers will be at the helm of Serie A clubs to start the season. Walter Mazzarri’s switch from Napoli to Inter compelled Partenopei owner Aurelio De Laurentiis to appoint Rafael Benitez as his replacement, while Chievo hired Giuseppe Sannino, Genoa signed Fabio Liverani and Roma inked Frenchman Rudi Garcia.

Also of interest is that there will be five city derbies in 2013-14.

Hellas Verona’s promotion has set up a local derby with Chievo while reasonably successful 2012-13 campaigns from Sampdoria and Torino maintained derbies with Genoa and Juventus, respectively. And then, of course, there are the Milan and Rome derbies involving Inter and AC Milan (Derby della Madonnina) and Lazio and AS Roma (Derby della Capitale).

Bleacher Report will have your Italian football needs covered all season long on our dedicated Serie A page.