Conte: Juve favourites for Serie A
Juventus manager Antonio Conte has declared the reigning champions “are surely the favourite team” for this season’s Serie A.
However, the back-to-back title winning boss concedes this season will be a tough challenge to overcome.
Juventus will be looking to make it three Serie A championships in a row when they begin their season with a trip away to Sampdoria.
"Juventus are surely the favourite team of this year's championship," Conte told reporters.
"It was the same last year because we had won the Scudetto the year before. Last season we proved on the pitch that we were the strongest team of the championship.
"This year we are the favourites again because of our recent victories, but I have to say that the favourites don't always win."
But Juventus are not the only side who have re-built in the off-season, with last season’s challengers also making a host of improvements in the summer.
And Conte warned his side they will have to be on their guard.
"I believe this year is going to be very tough because many teams will be competing for first place. Many teams have strengthened their squad spending much more money compared to Juventus," he said.
And that warning will have to be heeded from the very start of the campaign with Saturday’s hosts, Sampdoria, claiming a perfect record against Juventus in the league last season.
"Last year we were defeated in both matches against Sampdoria, therefore I hope that we'll have the chance to win for the first time tomorrow," Conte said.
"We'll be playing against a great team made of young players and trained by an excellent coach, Delio Rossi, whom I consider a master.
"The match is going to be tough from the tactical point of view. We'll surely be finding difficulties, but we're working on them. Of course we want to start in the best possible way.
"We're facing a team that will be playing with great enthusiasm because the stadium will surely be full tomorrow. I trust my guys and their willingness to hold the first position of the table."