Cristiano Ronaldo’s first official Juventus game will not be at the fortress that is Allianz Stadium in Turin. No, it will come at the cavernous stadium known as the Bentegodi.
Thursday was Serie A schedule release day in Italy, and the seven-time Italian champions found out that their first game of the 2018-19 campaign is not going to be at home unlike previous seasons that start with a title defense. Instead, Juventus and their bevy of new signings headlined by Ronaldo will open the season against Chievo on Sunday, Aug. 19, in Verona.
Opening against Chievo, which was able to stay in Serie A another season unlike their city rivals Hellas, marks a 10-game stretch to begin the year where only two of Juventus’ first 10 opponents (Lazio and Napoli) finished in the top half of the league table or were in Italy’s top flight all together.
The obviously means that Juventus manager Max Allegri could really get his team set on an early course knowing full well that he loves to see them start to truly get going come the end of the calendar year. And knowing that expectations are going to be through the freaking roof this season, being able to easily work around the Champions League schedule and ensure that Juve get through the group stages with room to spare should be priority No. 1 come September, October, November and December.
Speaking of December, that looks to be the first truly difficult month, Champions League opposition aside.
- Dec. 2: Away to Fiorentina
- Dec. 9: Home vs. Inter
- Dec. 16: “Away” to Torino
- Dec. 22: Home vs. Roma
- Dec. 26: Away to Atalanta
- Dec. 29: Home vs. Sampdoria
That’s a busy and tough month — and that’s also going to be the final four-week stretch fo the season as well. Don’t forget that part of the equation, too.
Here’s Juve’s full fixture list in case you want to see how it all breaks down. (Remember, some of the dates will likely change based on where Juventus’ Champions League group stage games fall.)