Pirlo’s new-look Juve face Roma challenge

MILAN (AFP) – Andrea Pirlo’s new-look Juventus face their first major test this season on Monday (2.45am Brunei time) when the Serie A champions tackle Roma.

Juventus kicked off their bid for a 10th consecutive league title with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria to hand Pirlo a win in his first ever match on the bench.

But the 41-year-old will face a difficult second weekend in the Stadio Olimpico against a Roma side still smarting after being handed an opening round defeat at Verona for fielding an unregistered player.

Since arriving last month Pirlo has brought in younger players such as defender Arthur and US midfielder Weston McKennie, with veterans including Miralem Pjanic, Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi leaving.

Swedish debutant Dejan Kulusevski got the champions off the mark with his debut goal for the club, and this week Spanish striker Alvaro Morata rejoined Juventus where he played with Pirlo from 2014-2016.

There has also been movement among the backroom staff with former Juventus goalkeeper Marco Storari this week joining the setup with the role of developing new talents.

Pirlo’s contemporary, Italian Storari, 43, played for Juventus for five seasons, from 2010 to 2015, winning four Scudetti, two Italian Super Cups and an Italian Cup.

The changes have given a new impetus to the club, said Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey.