Serie A Preview: Juve target five in a row

With the Serie A season kicking off on Saturday, Juventus will be the team to beat as they go in search of a fifth consecutive Scudetto.

Juventus head into the new Serie A season looking to win a fifth Scudetto on the bounce for the second time in their history.

The Turin giants, who begin their campaign at home to Udinese on Sunday, comprehensively won the title for a fourth time in succession last term, finishing 17 points clear of nearest rivals Roma.

Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez have all had key roles to play during Juve's period of dominance, but departed for pastures new during a transitional close-season.

Pirlo headed to the United States to join New York City, while Vidal joined Bayern Munich and Tevez returned to Argentina to sign for Boca Juniors.

However, Massimiliano Allegri's ranks have been bolstered by the arrivals of Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic, Sami Khedira and Simone Zaza.

And the UEFA Champions League finalists will need to call on all that quality as they look to fend off Rudi Garcia's Roma, who have also recruited well, with Edin Dzeko, Wojciech Szczesny and Mohamed Salah arriving at Stadio Olimpico on loan.

Roma begin with a trip to Verona before hosting Juve a week later.

For the two Milan clubs, the focus will be on returning to the top table of Italian football.

Milan disposed of the services of coach Filippo Inzaghi after finishing 10th last season, replacing him with ex-Sampdoria boss Sinisa Mihajlovic, while Inter have brought in Geoffrey Kondogbia, Stevan Jovetic and Jeison Murillo in a bid to improve on their eighth-placed finish.

Inter, though, have lost Xherdan Shaqiri and Mateo Kovacic to Stoke City and Real Madrid in recent weeks.

Milan head to Fiorentina on Sunday, with Inter, who have failed to finish higher than fifth in the past four seasons, opening at home to Atalanta.

Lazio ran city rivals Roma close for second spot last term and are in action on Saturday against Bologna - one of three promoted clubs alongside Carpi and Frosinone.

Playing in the 4,144-capacity Stadio Sandro Cabassi, Carpi earned promotion to the top tier for the first time in their history as Serie B champions, nine points ahead of Frosinone.

Napoli are preparing for life without coach Rafael Benitez - now at Real Madrid - with Maurizio Sarri in charge for the trip to Sassuolo.

There will also be new faces in the dugout when Fiorentina and Sampdoria begin their seasons, after Paulo Sousa replaced Vincenzo Montella in Florence, while Walter Zenga filled the void left by Mihajlovic.

Marco Giampaolo is the new man at the Empoli helm, in place of Sarri, and he will face his first test with the visit of Chievo on Sunday.

Udinese have also had a change of coach, with Stefano Colantuono coming in for Andrea Stramaccioni.