Juventus vs Sampdoria
Juventus vs Sampdoria: Pirlo targeting fast start to life in Juve dugout

Juventus vs Sampdoria: Andrea Pirlo will be overseeing his first Serie A game as Juventus head coach on Sunday, when the Bianconeri begin their defence title against Sampdoria.

Pirlo, 41, was swiftly appointed last month after Maurizio Sarri was sacked — despite the ex-Chelsea boss ensuring Juve secured their ninth consecutive Scudetto.

Rumours persisted throughout Sarri’s short tenure of a rift between him and certain players, while an embarrassing Champions League exit to Lyon prompted the club to terminate the 61-year-old’s contract two years early.

Pirlo (pictured above) will look to use fellow Juve legend Zinedine Zidane’s smooth transition from player to coach as an inspiration, given his first campaign could be a challenging one.

Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan finished just a point behind the champions in 2019-20, with further summer acquisitions suggesting they will be serious contenders once again this term.

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First up for Juve at the Allianz Stadium are Sampdoria, who will hope a more successful season is on the horizon after last term’s struggles.

Claudio Ranieri was appointed after a dismal start under Eusebio Di Francesco left the club rock bottom by October, with the ex-Leicester boss overseeing defensive improvement to secure safety.

A top-half finish will be the ambition for the Blucerchiati this season but an opening victory seems unlikely.

Sampdoria have lost their last five visits to Juventus, shipping 16 goals in the process, and their last two Serie A campaigns have begun with defeat.

Cristiano Ronaldo remains the main attraction in Turin, with the 35-year-old Portuguese superstar keen to usurp Lazio’s Ciro Immobile as Serie A’s top marksman.

Meanwhile, an ex-Juve man will be key to any success Sampdoria do enjoy.

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Evergreen goal machine Fabio Quagliarella, 37, reached double figures in a Serie A campaign for the ninth time last season and will be out to prove yet again that age is just a number.

Did you know?

These sides have not drawn any of their last 11 Serie A meetings, with Juve winning on nine occasions and Sampdoria successful in the other two.

Ronaldo has scored in each of his three Serie A matches against Sampdoria for Juventus.

Quagliarella has netted four goals against Juve in Serie A with four different teams. He also played 84 matches and scored 23 goals for the Bianconeri in the Italian top flight between 2010 and 2014.

9jatalks Sports

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