Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci believes it will be harder to win the Scudetto this season with three teams having announced themselves as title contenders.
The Italian champions lie fifth in the Serie A standings ahead of Wednesday's game at Chievo. They are tied on 10 points with both Inter Milan and Fiorentina while they trail joint leaders Napoli and Roma by two points.
Napoli, who finished runners-up to the Bianconeri last season, have been impressive so far while Roma and Inter are able to focus solely on the domestic front as they are not playing in Europe this term.
``This season the league is so much more difficult,'' Bonucci said. ``Napoli are hungry for wins and are the team that I fear the most.
``Roma, Inter Milan and Fiorentina are eager to bounce back.
``They all consider us favourites, as if we have already won the Scudetto.
``But right now the standings say that Napoli and Roma are ahead and that we are level with Inter and Fiorentina.
``I think this year we will have to go with the knife between our teeth because we will have to fight much more than in the past.''
Juventus are unbeaten this season but expect to be tested in Verona.
``For Chievo this game is the most important of the year,'' Bonucci said. ``We can expect them to play at 113 per cent, hence we need to see a determined and hungry Juve.''
Juve coach Antonio Conte is expected to bench Fernando Llorente despite the Spanish striker having scored the winner in Sunday's 2-1 triumph over Hellas Verona.
Moreover, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, defender Giorgio Chiellini and midfielder Claudio Marchisio are set to start at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi after being rested against Verona.
Instead, Mirko Vucinic will partner Carlos Tevez up front.
Chievo bounced back from a 3-0 defeat at Lazio with a 2-1 victory over Udinese on Saturday.
The result was the Flying Donkeys' first win of the campaign and coach Giuseppe Sannino said: ``It was important to get this win for the morale of the players.
``We now face a very difficult game but I'm confident my players will give their all to ensure a good performance against Juve.''