Serie A Femminile Week 12 Preview: Juventus in second half of the season title charge as Sassuolo face tricky test at Fiorentina
Reigning champions Juventus will seek to extend their 100% record when they travel to ASD Pomigliano on Sunday afternoon upon the Serie A Femminile’s return from a month’s break.
The champions, who are in cruise control having gone eight points clear on top of the log, will be looking to extend their dominance and take their point tally to 36 from 12 matches.
The Bianconere will be inspired by their 5-2 league demolition of AC Milan before the break and a 2-1 Coppa Italia final win over the same opponents last weekend.
“I saw them in the Super Cup . . . For us, paradoxically, it is the simplest match; they are the matches which you cannot wait to play . . .”
Pomigliano, on the other hand, on eighth place, will be looking to build on their 2-1 league win over Napoli before the break. The hosts have recorded 13 points from four wins and one draw in 11 matches.
Pomigliano coach Domenico Panico has said that he is looking forward to the date with the champions and that the task will not be insurmountable.
“Juventus? I saw them in the Super Cup . . . For us, paradoxically, it is the simplest match; they are the matches which you cannot wait to play given their value.
“The Bianconere have won 11 matches in a row, but in football anything can happen, we will give it our all . . .”, Panico was quoted as saying by One Station Radio.
Pomigliano have bolstered their squad by adding the services of former Melbourne Victory and Bristol City midfielder Ella Mastrantonio in the current transfer window to replace midfielder Giulia Ferrandi who has joined Lazio on a free transfer.
“We were struck by her determination (Mastrantonio), the desire not to give up until the end. We needed her in midfield, given the departure of Ferrandi who moved to Lazio. She has trained in these days and is ready to give her contribution”, said Panico.
Juventus will be without star forward Cristiana Girelli who has begun her vaccination cycle against Covid-19.
Reads the statement on the club website: “Juventus Football Club announces that the player Cristiana Girelli has commenced her own vaccination cycle to prevent the possible infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Therefore, pending the obtainment of the "reinforced Green Pass", and being considered at a legislative level as [being of] amateur status, Cristiana Girelli will not be able to participate in the training sessions at the Juventus Training Center at Vinovo and in the following league matches against Pomigliano and Fiorentina in Serie A.”
Elsewhere, third-placed Sassuolo face a tricky test away at seventh-placed Fiorentina on Sunday.
The visitors, who have recorded eight wins, one draw and two defeats and are eight points behind log leaders Juventus, have had a lukewarm run in their last five matches, winning two, losing two and drawing one.
The hosts, on the other hand, bolstered by the arrival of former AC Milan captain and three-time Serie A Femminile golden boot award winner, Valentina Giacinti, on loan, will be looking to turn around their season’s fortunes being 20 points away from log leaders Juventus.
Fiorentina will also place their hopes in the services of in-form striker Daniella Sabatino, who is the current campaign’s top scorer with eight goals.
Second-placed AS Roma host ninth-placed Tuscany side Empoli in the Italian Capital on Saturday.
The hosts are coming from a 3-2 home league win over relegation haunted Lazio and are on a five-match winning streak in the league, whilst the visitors are coming from a one-all league draw with Fiorentina before the break and have won twice, lost once and drawn twice in their last five league matches.
A win for gaffer Alessandro Spugna could see the Rome side, who are on second position on the log ahead of Sassuolo due to a superior goal difference, cement their place.
Fourth-placed Inter Milan host struggling 10thplaced Napoli at the Stadio Felice Chinetti in Milan on Sunday.
A win for Inter, who have registered 22 points in 11 outings, will take them to level points with Roma and Sassuolo, who occupy second and third places respectively.
The hosts have recorded seven wins, one draw and three defeats this campaign, while the visitors have registered two wins, one draw and eight defeats.
Inter will turn to the services of in-form forward Ajaya Nchout Njoya, who is joint-fourth top scorer in the current Serie A Femminile campaign with five goals.
Fifth-placed AC Milan face bottom-placed Hellas Verona away at the Synergy Stadium in Verona.
The troubled Milan outfit suffered two consecutive heavy league defeats before the break to Inter Milan and Juventus respectively, and also suffered a 2-1 Coppa Italia Final defeat to the latter last weekend.
To add to their woes, former captain and three-time Serie A Femminile golden boot award winner, Valentina Giacinti joined league rivals Fiorentina on loan earlier this week after reportedly having fallen out with coach Maurizio Ganz.
The Rossonere also lost veteran Spanish midfielder Veronica Boquete to Fiorentina and goalkeeper Mária Korenčiová to Levante UD earlier this transfer window. Boquete reportedly also fell out with Ganz.
11 points away from log leaders Juventus, Milan face their 12thopponents of the season with a desperation for a shift in fortunes albeit amid a shacky dressing room.
They, however, will feel bolstered by the signing of forward Martina Piemonte, who joined from Fiorentina earlier this transfer window.
Milan have amassed 22 points from seven wins and one draw in 11 contests whilst Verona have one point from one draw in as many encounters.
Sixth-placed Sampdoria host 11th placed Lazio on Saturday.
Sampdoria have recorded 16 points from five wins and one defeat in 11 outings whilst Lazio have recorded a paltry three points from one win in as many encounters.
Fixtures (Saturday): AS Roma vs. Empoli (12:30hrs); Sampdoria vs. Lazio (14:30hrs); Hellas Verona vs. AC Milan (14:30hrs)
(Sunday): ASD Pomigliano vs. Juventus (12:00hrs); Fiorentina vs. US Sassuolo (13:30hrs); Inter Milan vs. Napoli CF (14:30hrs)
All times are Central European Time (CET)
(Photo by Claudio Pasquazi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)