Juventus Women’s latest title defense will begin against a team the Bianconere have never faced before.
After that, it’s plenty of familiar faces, providing quite the early test for a squad that is now going to be expected to compete on multiple fronts this season.
Following a season opener in the final weekend of August on the road against Serie A Femminile newcomers Como, the early domestic tests will come in quick succession. First it’s the home opener at Vinovo against former manager Rita Guarino and Inter Milan, a team that will be looking to make noise after battling inconsistencies a year ago. Then it’s the team that finished second behind Juventus last season also coming to Vinovo in Roma, who just so happens to have made one of the biggest signings of the summer in recent days after acquiring striker Valentina Giacinti from AC Milan. Rounding out the busy opening month of a matchup against Sassuolo, a team that has some of Juve’s talented youngsters on its roster and has proven to be quite the difficult opponent over the last couple of years.
All of this while also trying to qualify for the Women’s Champions League group stage once again — which gets underway with the same four-team mini-tournaments at a venue still to be announced next month.
Serie A Femminile will have 10 teams this coming season as compared to 12 teams a year ago, this creating an 18-game schedule rather than the 22 each squad played in 2021-22.
The twist on this season, the first in which Serie A Femminile players will be fully professional players, is that it is broken up into two very different phases. The first one will be the 18-game schedule mentioned above, but will be followed by a second phase in which the league will be divided into two five-team groups — the top five fighting it out for the league title as well as the other Women’s Champions League qualification spot, while the bottom five will simply fight for top-flight survival.
Juventus Women, under the direction of second-year manager Joe Montemurro, have won five straight Scudetti, having not finished anywhere other than first place since its creation as a squad before the 2017-18 season. With Roma making some very smart and strong signings, there’s expected to be more of a push domestically to go with the follow-up effort to last season’s run to the Women’s Champions League quarterfinals.
Here is what Montemurro said of the new season following the release of the fixture list:
“We are ready for the new season. It doesn’t matter which team we will play first — we have to play all the games. We are ready for any challenge and match that comes our way.
“Obviously, the best teams will have the opportunity to play more often and face each other. The more games that are played, the more you will see the level rise. For the players and for clubs it’s only a good thing.”
A good thing indeed. And a good thing that a new season is almost ready to begin again.