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Looking for First Victory, Roma Women Face Tough Task Against Juventus

Roma’s home opener against Juve promises to be an exciting one.

AS Roma

Yes, as much as it pains me to say it, Juventus’ domination of calcio extends to the women’s league as well. So, if you found yourself wondering if your old hatreds should transfer to Roma’s newest venture, the answer is yes. A resounding and unequivocal yes. But hate and the desire for retribution can only carry one so far in sport; sooner or later, the results have to come, and no amount of ill will can earn you three points.

Through their first two matches, Elisabetta Bavagnoli’s side has had 3/4ths of the puzzle figured out; building from the back, tearing through opposing midfields and working the ball through to their trio of talented attackers. Despite that beautiful build up play, the Giallorosse have managed only two goals through those two matches, only one of which actually came in the run of play.

Roma v. Juventus: October 21st. 12:30 CET/6:30 EDT. Stadio Tre Fontane, Roma.

It’s a frustrating scene we’ve seen play out numerous times on the men’s side, but with such a short book on the women’s team, we’re still left guessing how they’ll actually complete the final quarter of that puzzle. If you’ve been following the team since their opener against Sassuolo, you’ve probably noticed that this team is built on speed.

With Giada Greggi leading the charge, Roma’s attack has proven difficult to reign in, and despite the lack of payoff, there is reason for optimism. If BB’s attack (Betty Bavagnoli, we might as well keep the manager acronym thing going for both clubs) were predicated on intricate, overlapping wing play or some convoluted, tiki-taka esque slow burn, then sure the lack of goals would be worrying. However, as we all know, you can’t teach speed, and through 180 minutes of action, Serie A defenders have shown no signs of slowing down Greggi and company, and with Martina Piemonte, Annamaria Serturini and Agnese Bonfantini coming so close to scoring so many times, the goals are sure to come.

When it comes to the otherside of the ball, Roma is a bit like your standard shitty NFL team, whose defense bends over backwards to keep the club in the game, only to be let down by repeatedly by their offense. Led by Elisa Bartoli and Emma Lipman, Roma’s back four has been organized and efficient, and were one killer pass from Sassuolo away from at least drawing their first match, while they were done in by a set piece against Verona last week.

Of course, all these concerns come against the backdrop of facing the defending champions, Juventus. While Juve lost the Supercopa against Fiorentina, they remain in solid shape on the league table. With six points from two matches and a stellar +9 goal differential (9 forced, 0 allowed), Juve are about as dominant as a team can be...and they have a game in hand over first place Milan.

All of which is to say, for a team struggling to find the back of the net and desperate for their first victory, the schedule makers haven’t been kind to the Giallorosse. On the flip side, I can’t think of a better statement for this new team than to wipe the floor with Juventus when they take the field at Tre Fontane for the first time.