**The start of a new season is a time for hopes and dreams to override sensible pragmatism – for supporters at least**. \n\nAfter all, if you can’t be optimistic before a ball has been passed or a try has been scored, when can you? \n\nPlenty of Guinness PRO14 sides have reasons to be cheerful going into the 2020/21 campaign, which kicks off on Friday evening when Zebre host Cardiff Blues. \n\n[There are new faces](https://www.pro14.rugby/latest/news/the-ins-and-outs-ahead-of-the-new-guinness-pro14-season) and new bosses, but the competition will remain just as intense as ever – here’s our look at what your team can look forward to this season… \n\n# Benetton \n\n**Last season: 5th (Conference B)** \n\nBenetton could hardly ask for a tougher start, with last season’s two Finalists lying in wait in the opening two rounds. \n\nBut the ever-improving Italian outfit pushed Leinster all the way early on last season, eventually going down 32-27, and they will be looking to improve their away form as they try and build on last season’s fifth-placed finish. \n\nTommaso Allan will be crucial again while there are high hopes for his young understudy [Paolo Garbisi, who made his Guinness PRO14 debut after the restart.](https://www.pro14.rugby/latest/next-gen/meet-the-next-gen-garbisi-ready-to-shine-on-the-big-stage) \n\n# Cardiff Blues \n\n**Last season: 6th (Conference B)** \n\nOnly Southern Kings kept Cardiff Blues off the foot of the Conference B table last season but they will take heart from their post-restart victory over Ospreys. \n\nJohn Mulvihill will hope his side suffer fewer injuries this season as they seek an improved position, while Cory Hill and Rhys Carre are solid additions to the squad. \n\nBlues will look to make the most of the jet-heeled Josh Adams when his international commitments allow.