As any Fiorentina fan knows, the rivalry between ourselves and Juventus is a longstanding and deep running one. When they entered the field of play in the Serie A women’s league, this would only strengthen that rivalry.
New Era, Old Rivals
Fiorentina had just won their first Scudetto in 2016/17, having established the team the season before. When the enemy decided to follow suit, little did we know that they would put an end to our ambitions of further Serie A success.
At the end of that 2017/18 season, we would finish 17 points behind the Turin side. Only Brescia (who would then become AC Milan) could keep pace with the new kids on the block. In the end Juventus won their first title at the first attempt, after a penalty shoot-out win in the play-off.
Having lost our first ever game against Juventus earlier that season, when we welcomed them to Florence in April 2018 we may have been out of the title race, but this is always a game that matters.
After a scoreless first half, Ilaria Mauro put the Viola in front with less than twenty minutes remaining. Sanni Franssi then equalized with just over ten minutes to go. In the last minute, from a Fiorentina corner kick, Cecilia Salvai turned the ball into her own net.
Now we’re not really fussy about how we beat the enemy, but an own goal in the ninetieth minute, it doesn’t get much more perfect than that.
The Last Super
The following season, 2018/19, got off to a great start. In the Supercoppa Final, Fiorentina claimed the trophy with a 1-0 win over Juventus. Ilaria Mauro, yet again on the score sheet. Unfortunately, that would be the last time we got the better of our rivals.
That season we did get much closer in the league than the previous year. We did however lose both Serie A clashes between the sides. In November we went down 2-0 at home, with Cristiana Girelli and Barbara Bonansea getting the goals.
When Fiorentina traveled to the Allianz Stadium in March, it was billed as the title decider. A crowd of almost 40,000 filled the arena to see the two title contenders do battle.
Juventus Women 1-0 Fiorentina FT:— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 24, 2019
84': Sofie Junge Pedersen ⚽
An Italian record women's crowd of 39,000 fans gathered to watch @JuventusFCWomen beat Fiorentina 1-0 in their first game at the Allianz Stadium. pic.twitter.com/q1nlGAKLAu
Fiorentina almost took the lead when an Alia Guagni rocket shot hit the crossbar and bounced down on the goal line. With just six minutes remaining, a mix up at the back let in Sofie Pedersen and Juventus claimed all three points.
Fiorentina would end up just one point behind the Scudetto winners, but they did have a chance to claim another trophy. In April 2019 the teams met in another final, the Coppa Italia decider in Parma. Despite Tatiana Bonetti pulling a goal back with just over fifteen minutes to go, Juventus went on to lift the trophy with a 2-1 win.
Last season’s Supercoppa Final saw the two sides clash in yet another trophy decider. In Cesena it was Juventus who again came out on top. A 2-0 win, with goals from Girelli and Andrea Stašková.
The league campaign ended prematurely, meaning we wouldn’t get to see the teams play in Florence. In November 2019 they did meet in Turin, and yet again Girelli was the scorer. The only goal of the game coming in the first ten minutes.
The sides have already met twice this season. Fiorentina made the trip to Vinovo back in October. The game got off to a dreadful start for the Viola. Girelli, no surprise there, opened the scoring after just four minutes. What was already looking like a very difficult game, became a mountain to climb less than ten minutes later.
Louise Quinn was shown the red card when her hand manged to knock over Barbara Bonansea on the edge of the area. Bonansea went down “like a sack of spuds” as Louise later described it in an interview with Viola Nation.
Not only were Fiorentina down to ten, but Juventus also doubled their lead from the resulting free-kick. Two further goals from Bonansea and Hurtig meant a 4-0 defeat.
Yet another Supercoppa Final brought the sides together again in January. A Bonansea goal in either half brought another defeat against Juventus. In our ten previous meetings we have only managed two wins, and just one win in the league.
There has never been a draw between the sides, but we have only actually had two home games in those ten clashes. One win and one defeat is our record in Florence. We also haven’t managed to score in the last four meetings with Juventus.
As we know though, past performances and recent form go out the window when we take on the bianconeri. Just look at the men’s team, who would have thought they would go to Turin and come away with a 3-0 win, especially the way they had been playing.
In team news, Antonio Cincotta is a happier man now that he’s got a few more first team players available. In a season where we’ve suffered more than our share of injuries and Covid cases, the recent return to the squad of Martina Piemonte and Stephanie Breitner is a massive boost.
| PREGARA— ACF Fiorentina Femminile (@ACF_Womens) March 19, 2021
Sabato arriva la capolista Juventus: la Fiorentina proverà a sfruttare l'esperienza in @uwcl
L'analisi alla vigilia di #FiorentinaJuve con Mister Antonio Cincotta. #ForzaViola #Fiorentina #SerieAFemminile pic.twitter.com/NvGBgWouGV
While Juventus look to already have one hand on yet another league title, their most recent outing brought their first domestic defeat in almost two years. That loss to Roma in the Coppa, also saw an injury to Barbara Bonansea. The player who has scored four times against us will not be in the squad that travels to Florence.
Cristiana Girelli, Serie A top scorer, and another player who has scored four goals in our meetings, also went off injured in that game. The striker has however been declared fit enough to join the squad, as has Sara Gama who returns from injury.
A warm welcome back to the Fiorentina squad to Sofia Lorieri. The young defender has been out with a serious ankle injury since last October.
| #PROSPERIUS.IT SQUAD LIST— ACF Fiorentina Femminile (@ACF_Womens) March 19, 2021
Le convocate per il match di domani!⁰
️ LIVE STREAMING su https://t.co/JSE5vO5QfS#ForzaViola #FiorentinaJuve #SerieAFemminile pic.twitter.com/5p7L4rwgtC
This is a great chance for the team to make a mark this season, to create another highlight after the Champions League experience. It’s the chance for one of our players to become the hero, the saviour.
We are well aware that we should be better than this, bigger than this, but it can’t be helped. When we see those colours, it’s like a red rag to a bull. Winning might be everything in football, but winning against Juventus, means even more.
The game kicks off on Saturday at 14:30 CET. As always you can watch this live for free on the official Fiorentina website.