Serie A Femminile: 2023/24 season preview

Barbara Bonansea of Juventus FC and Lucia Di Guglielmo of AS Roma fight for the ball.
Barbara Bonansea of Juventus FC and Lucia Di Guglielmo of AS Roma fight for the ball during the 2022/23 Coppa Italia Femminile Final at Stadio Arechi in June 2023. (Photo by Ivan Romano/Getty Images)

The 2023/24 Serie A Femminile season got underway this past weekend, with Roma looking to retain their league crown. Nine of the ten teams remain the same as last term, but they have been joined by newly promoted Napoli. For the second consecutive season, Serie A will once again split into a championship and relegation group when all teams have played 18 games.

Can Roma win back-to-back titles?

Roma have set a high benchmark after they won their first-ever Serie A title last season to end Juventus’ five-year reign as champions. Le Giallorosse also lifted the Supercoppa Italiana and reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in their first-ever European campaign. While Roma enjoyed a memorable 2022/23 season, their challenge now is to maintain or even better last season’s incredible performance. The Italian champions have experienced a busy summer, which has seen a number of players depart, including Andressa Alves and Sophie Roman Haug.

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A series of summer exits has created the space for several additions. Experienced defender Saki Kumagai has arrived from German champions Bayern Munich, while Martina Tomaselli, Oihane Valdezate and Laura Feiersinger have bolstered the midfield. In the final third, Evelyne Viens and Bárbara Latorre have arrived to strengthen Alessandro Spugna’s forward options.

Juventus out for revenge

Despite winning the Coppa Italia for the third time, Juventus failed to live up to their high standards in the league after finishing eight points behind league winners Roma. With Juventus aiming to wrestle back the Serie A crown this term, they have delved into the transfer market to make a number of new additions, including Estelle Cascarino, Maëlle Garbino and Lindsey Thomas.

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While they may have strengthened their squad ahead of the new season, Juventus have already received a significant setback before playing their first league game of the 2022/23 campaign. Joe Montemurro’s side were dumped out of the Champions League last weekend after losing to Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties, ensuring their European journey was brought to a premature end in the first round of qualifying. An early exit represents a failure for a Juventus side who have competed in the Champions League main draw for the past five seasons, but they will look to channel that disappointment into motivation for the domestic campaign.

Two rivals looking to improve

After finishing in second position in 2020/21, AC Milan have had to settle for third place in the last two seasons, ensuring they go into a third consecutive campaign without any European football. They will certainly have their work cut out to achieve Champions League qualification this term, but they will at least want to close the gap to the top two after finishing 10 points adrift of second-placed Juventus last term. Ahead of the new season, Milan have experienced an overhaul in the final third, with Martina Piemonte and Lindsey Thomas heading out of the exit door, while Gloria Marinelli, Emelyne Laurent and Andrea Stašková have all joined the club.

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Inter tailed off in the closing stages of the 2022/23 campaign, ensuring they had to settle for fifth spot. They are now preparing to begin their fifth consecutive top-flight campaign, and are yet to finish above their local rivals AC Milan — a statistic they will look to change this season. With Inter seeking an improvement this term, they have added experience to their side in the form of Agnese Bonfantini and Sofie Pedersen. Despite adding to her squad, Inter boss Rita Guarino will have to cope without the firepower provided by Tabitha Chawinga. The Malawi international racked up 23 league goals last season to finish as Serie A’s top scorer, but she has since returned to her parent club Wuhan Jianghan University following the conclusion of her loan spell.

Fiorentina and Sassuolo target top five

Elsewhere, Fiorentina bounced back from their underwhelming seventh-place finish in 2021/22 to claim fourth spot last season. While it represented an improvement, Fiorentina are still a long way off from replicating the success they enjoyed in 2016/17 when they lifted their one and only Serie A title. While a title push is unlikely, Fiorentina will want to build upon the promising signs from last season. They indicated their ambition with their transfer business, recruiting Norma Cinotti and Emma Severini from Roma on loan and permanent deals, respectively. Juventus defender Martina Toniolo has arrived on loan, while the additions of Emma Færge, Marina Georgieva and Giorgia Spinelli will shore up the backline.

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After achieving back-to-back top-four finishes, Sassuolo failed to live up to expectations last season, finishing in sixth place after competing in the relegation group in the final stretch of the campaign. The goal this time around will be to ensure they are battling in the top five when the league is split in two when springtime arrives.

Relegation battle

Sampdoria released a statement earlier this summer to announce its withdrawal from professional women’s football following the takeover by Andrea Radrizzani. The decision led to a summer of uncertainty for all involved with Sampdoria’s women’s team, but there was a change of heart, and the club will take their place in Serie A for the forthcoming season. While news of their participation is positive, a lack of investment in the squad leaves them as firm relegation candidates. 

Sampdoria will be competing in a relegation battle with the likes of Parma, Como and Pomigliano. Newly-promoted Napoli are also looking to stave off relegation after returning to the top flight at the first time of asking.

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