GENOA, ITALY - Juventus begin the defence of their Serie A crown with a tricky looking opener against Sampdoria. The hosts completed a league double over the champions last season but the bookmakers expect the Bianconeri to have little trouble in exacting revenge.
Juventus are chalked up at an unbackable price of 1.55 with BetVictor for victory, perhaps a knee jerk reaction from Juve's 4-0 SuperCoppa demolition of Lazio last weekend, while Sampdoria are available at a top price of 8.0 with bet365 to repeat last seasons heroics. Meanwhile the draw is readily available at odds of 4.0 with Bet Fred among others.
Juventus burnt alot of fingers pre-season when they finished rock bottom of The International Champions Cup, they lost against Everton, LA Galaxy and Inter Milan. Nevertheless, they win when it matters after stuffing Lazio in their own backyard to clinch the first piece of silverware this season, dusting off any cobwebs from their pre-season American jaunt.
Sampdoria endured a comfortable return to Serie A last term finishing in 14th place, ten points clear of relegation. But second season syndrome could be a factor and the loss of 21 year-old Argentine striker Marco Icardi is a massive blow to the club.
Coach Delio Rossi, much like his counterpart Antonio Conte, favours the 3-5-2 system and the game will be won on which team can break quicker and make use of their counter attacks. There is also an interesting subplot to this game as Sampdoria frontman Manolo Gabbiadini is co-owned by Juventus and he will be looking to make a statement from the first whistle, he is available at 15.0 with bet365 to score first or 6.0 with BetVictor to score anytime.
Looking at the goalscorer markets from a Juventus prospective can be a minefield. Backing the midfielders to find net is much better value than looking towards the strikers, last season the champions top scorer only managed 10 league goals and, with Carlos Tevez leading the market at 5.0 with BetVictor to score first and 1.91 to score anytime, I would rather put my money elsewhere. Paul Pogba scored in the SuperCoppa win over Lazio and is chalked up at 4.50 with BetVictor to score ANYTIME against Sampdoria.
When evaluating the match it's hard to state a case for Sampdoria, the only positive I can find is last seasons results; however, the hosts have been weakened and Juve have got stronger with the signings of Tevez and Llorente. But the odds of 1.55 on an away win hold little value, instead the 1.73 on offer for Juventus to score over 1.5 goals with Boylesports looks a much better punt.
The Bianconeri have won 10 of the last 12 opening day fixtures and you see why they are such heavy favourties to make it 11 out of 13. Juventus sent out a warning shot to Serie A last weekend when they walloped Lazio 4-0, so Sampdoria have an uphill battle to take anything from the opening weekend.
The game kicks off at 7:45pm BST on Saturday 24th August 2013 and is live on BT Sport 1.
Mark Smith's bets on this game: