Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon believes that his side is the favorite to lift this year's Serie A crown, but will not have an easy ride with teams like AC Milan, Inter, Roma and Napoli nipping at the Turin giants' heels.
The Bianconeri have been widely tipped to storm to a second consecutive Scudetto this year, with their rivals enduring turbulent summers, but the veteran goalkeeper believes his side will face stern competition, thanks in part to coach Antonio Conte's 10-month ban.
"There are three or four teams who might start behind us, but could be dangerous along the way," the Italy international told Sky Sport24.
"I'm talking about AC Milan, but also, Inter, Roma and Napoli, who don't have the Champions League, but have an experienced group of players.
"We are missing Conte and his absence is felt on the bench. He's a coach who gave us new belief and did a great job of turning the team around with his determination."
Buffon also expressed his delight at Juventus' impending return to the Champions League.
"We have been missing these type of matches - for too long we have only been watching them on television."
He also spoke about former teammate Alessandro Del Piero's transfer to Sydney FC, as well as commenting on his own future.
"He [Del Piero] made a choice with his life, and I am not only sure that he won't have any problems, and that he will still have a long career," he continued.
He added, "My future? Soon I will talk with the club and I doubt there'll be any problems. I want to renew my contract, but the club are currently occupied with other matters.
"I think I won't play for any other Italian team, even if in football you can never say never."