Marotta slams Juventus fixture pile-up

The club's director says teams competing in Europe should receive better protection from Serie A organisers following Juve's tough opening to the campaign
Giuseppe Marotta has hit out at Serie A organisers after Juventus were handed a tough run of fixtures at the start of the 2013-14 season.

The champions begin the defence of their Scudetto crown with a visit to Sampdoria - the only side to beat them twice last season in Serie A - while a gruelling run of fixtures from the end of September sees them face a derby clash with Torino, AC Milan and Fiorentina, as well as two Champions League group games.

Marotta feels Italian sides competing on the continent should be handed better protection from Serie A organisers, telling Tuttosport: "Certainly the calendar has been less yielding in the last few years.

"There are many cup matches close to important games in the season, or head-to-head matches which are traditionally tricky.

"The league should better protect those who represent Italy in Europe. I realise this is difficult, perhaps impossible in some cases, but it would benefit everyone."

Despite their ominous-looking start to the campaign, Marotta is fully confident his side have what it takes to secure a third successive Serie A title.

He added: "The beginning is tough and we should be aggressive in those games, but this is one of our characteristics. We do not lack the will to win the championship for the third time in a row."