Wednesday started with a reduced number of players showing up to J Medical in Turin for their first day of preseason preparations. Paulo Dybala, Weston McKennie and the other players who didn’t take part national team duty this summer rolled up in Jeeps and hopped out to officially get their 2021-22 seasons under way.
The day ended with another key piece of the puzzle: the schedule release for said 2021-22 season.
The second era for Max Allegri as Juventus manager will begin on the road in Udine when the Bianconeri, without a Scudetto patch on their jersey for the first time in a decade, face Udinese on Sunday, Aug. 22. Allegri’s Juve will open its home schedule — potentially with a decent number of fans filling the Allianz Stadium seats — a week later when newly promoted Empoli rolls into Turin on Aug. 29.
There is a twist that came with the schedule release this season: The andata and ritorno won’t be completely identical with the only thing being flipped is the location where the games are played. Instead, Juventus will open the second half of the season against Napoli after playing them the third week of the season in September.
Juventus’ full schedule is below:
With the schedule not matching up with Matchdays 1-19 and Matchdays 20-38, that creates some interesting stretches in the schedule that might not have been there in previous years. The first big stretch comes right after the first international break of the 2021-22 season when Juventus faces Napoli and Milan in back-to-back weeks. But, like I said, that won’t be replicated in the same way in the second half of the season, with Juventus playing Napoli to open the return dates and then playing Roma the first two weekends of January.
Another key stretch looks to be the beginning of October when Juve go Torino-Roma-Inter while also hitting the meat of the Champions League group stage schedule.
No matter what, though, things are starting to come together when we look at Allegri’s first season back at Juventus. Now, with such a reduced group in Continassa for the first couple of weeks of preseason training, the attention will likely shift to what’s going on off the field and what the roster Allegri will have to work with looks like as compared to who Max is screaming at that day at training.