Inter to face Roma early in title defence

MILAN - Italian champions Inter Milan will visit last season's runners-up AS Roma and host traditional rivals Juventus in their fifth and sixth Serie A matches next season the draw was made on Wednesday.

The European champions, who also won the domestic cup last season to seal an unprecedented Italian treble, open their campaign at perennial strugglers Bologna but the game may be shifted from the August 29 date given they face Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup on August 27.

"We play the European Super Cup just a few days earlier so we feared a long trip. Bologna is OK," Inter chief executive Ernesto Paolillo told the club website.

After the games at Roma and at home to Juve, Inter play AC Milan on November 14 and again on April 3 with Juve facing Roma on the same dates.

Inter, who have brought in youngster Coutinho as they seek a sixth straight scudetto and look poised to sell Maicon and Mario Balotelli, finish the season at home to Catania.

The draw was made on live television in front of a star-studded audience in Milan.

Before the ceremony, Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani told reporters that midfielder Gennaro Gattuso would be staying at the club after being linked with a move.

Roma start their season at home to promoted Cesena.

Serie A opening fixtures (August 28/29 tbc)

Bari v Juventus

Bologna v Inter

Chievo v Catania

Fiorentina v Napoli

Milan v Lecce

Palermo v Cagliari

Parma v Brescia

Roma v Cesena

Sampdoria v Lazio

Udinese v Genoa

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