Juventus and Lazio will meet on Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico in the curtain-raiser for what promises to be a fascinating season in Italy, with the pair poised to battle it out for the Italian Super Cup.
The Bianconeri were the dominant force on the domestic front once again in 2016-17, coasting to the top of Serie A, staying at the summit and winning the Coppa Italia, too. They beat Lazio 2-0 in the Coppa final, with the Biancocelesti struggling to contain the might of the champions.
Simone Inzaghi will hope to see his side earn some sort of revenge on Sunday, though, especially in their own stadium. Victory here would set them up brilliantly for the league campaign to come.
Read on for the key viewing details ahead of the match and a preview of what is always an intriguing occasion.
Date: Sunday, August 13
Time: 7:45 p.m. (BST), 2:45 p.m. (ET)
TV Info: Sky Sports Mix (UK), GOLTV USA (U.S.)
Live Stream: Sky Go (UK)
Juventus will take to the field for this one as the overwhelming favourites, as they still boast the strongest squad in Italy. Yet plenty has changed since their last meeting with Lazio.
Their defence has seen plenty of upheaval, most significantly. Not only has manager Massimiliano Allegri lost Dani Alves to Paris Saint-Germain, the club also moved Leonardo Bonucci to AC Milan. They'll leave two major holes at the back, although the fact both men were on the scoresheet against Lazio in the Coppa final sums up their influence.
Still, there will be chances for other players to come in and make their presence felt in the squad. Daniele Rugani is a young defender many hope can fill Bonucci's void.
The Scouted Football Twitter account has backed him for a big season:
Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl
Rugani is the most natural Bonucci replacement at Juve. He's confident on the ball, although lacks the incisive long-ball accuracy. https://t.co/FJIMzeoW5l2017-7-15 09:30:28
At the sharp end of the pitch there will be high expectations. Douglas Costa has been drafted in to add a thrust to the flanks, and he's just one of many exciting options for Allegri to call upon here.
One player plenty are expecting a huge term from is Paulo Dybala. There were signs of the young forward really catching fire late in the previous campaign, although he failed to find his best on a consistent basis. Now 23, he will need to add that kind of frequency to his play.
Juventus seem to think he is ready to take on that responsibility. As we can see, he's been handed the club's iconic No. 10 jersey:
B/R Football @brfootball
Paulo Dybala has a new (famous) Juventus number—definitely staying then? (📷 @juventusfcen) https://t.co/NcHCPYxny62017-8-9 18:57:01
Lazio finished the previous Serie A season with a disappointing whimper, slumping to three consecutive defeats and fifth place. However, prior to that poor run, Inzaghi's team showed signs of major promise.
In a spell of three back-to-back wins, they beat Palermo, rivals Roma and Sampdoria, scoring 16 goals in the process. It was a run inspired by forward Keita Balde Diao, who has been linked with a potential move to Turin, per SportMediaset (h/t Football Italia).
David Amoyal of ESPN FC is a big fan of the Senegal international:
David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal
To me Keita Balde has potential to have Dybala like impact at a top club- a great talent who could benefit from right environment2017-7-28 22:02:18
While Lazio are set to be without Felipe Anderson due to injury on Sunday, through the likes of Diao, Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, they have enough firepower to cause a potentially ropey Juventus defence problems.
Even so, the champions remain a cut above every side in Italy as things stand. After a turbulent summer and on the cusp of a new Serie A season, they'll settle their fans' nerves with a strong display.
Prediction: Juventus 2-0 Lazio