After nine consecutive Serie A titles, a fourth place in the 2020/21 campaign was simply not the ticket to Juventus.
It was nowhere near the domestic dominance that the old lady has become accustomed to over the past decade and as a result, the game that Andrea Pirlo quickly moved on.
Now Massimiliano Allegri, who during his previous period with the club between 2014 and 2019, picked up five of the nine straight Scudettos – and made two Champions League finals – is back at the helm and will look back for Juve’s crown.
The start of the season is often – though not always – a very good indication of how a club’s season will turn out, so let’s take a look at Old Lady’s first ten Serie A matches during the 2021/22 season and rate them on difficulties .
Udinese head coach Luca Gotti / Nicolò Campo / Getty Images
It’s never perfect to start your campaign from home, but on paper, Algrige’s side will be big favorites for their opener at Udinese.
Luca Gotti guided the club to a moderate 14th place last semester and, after captain Rodrigo De Paul’s departure to Atletico Madrid, they should not pose a threat to any of the top teams this time.
There is always an air of optimism on the opening day, but Allegri should be able to see his men to victory to kick things off.
Aurelio Andreazzoli takes over Empoli this season / Nicolò Campo / Getty Images
Always be tired of those who have just won promotion to the top flight, although Juventus can probably consider this safe.
Empoli finished as Serie B champions last semester, but after seeing a number of loaned players return to the parent clubs and having manager Alessio Dionisi poached by Sassuolo, it could be a tough season.
Allegri will be keen to kick things off with a bang, and a home side to newly promoted Empoli could give him that.
Luciano Spalletti is the new face responsible for Napoli / Emilio Andreoli / Getty Images
Points in their first two matches can be the key as they face significantly more threatening opposition on match day three.
Gennaro Gattuso may have only led the Neapolitan side to a fifth place last time, but the new coach Luciano Spalletti has experience of working in top flight.
The 62-year-old has won seven awards for spells in Roma and Zenit St. Petersburg and has previously been awarded Serie A Coach of the Year on two occasions.
Juventus should be considered favorites for the match, but expect that this Napoli side will present tougher competition than before.
Stefano Pioli in Milan training / Claudio Villa / Getty Images
Old Lady will be presented with two tough Serie A matches on the bounce in the early stages of the upcoming campaign.
After a trip to Napoli, it is a draw with Milan, which Stefano Pioli led to a second place last season. There is obviously a lot of progress in Milan and although the club has lost the formidable presence on and off the field of Gianluigi Donnarumma, their activities so far have been impressive.
I Rossoneri have brought in the excellent Mike Maignan to replace the Italian number one, made the loans from Sandro Tonali and Fikayo Tomori permanent and also acquired the services of Olivier Giroud.
They are threatening and are clearly anxious to build further on a promising season last time.
Spezia-Chef Vincenzo Italiano / Gabriele Maltinti / Getty Images
It will be a little easier for Juve on match day five.
Vincenzo Italiano led Spezia to a 15th place finish last semester and, without really building on their squad so far in the transfer window, they will no doubt push for something more this campaign.
Spezia had the worst defensive record apart from the defunct teams’ latest campaign, so there is an opportunity for a potent Juve attack to place on the leaderboard early in the season.
Will Mikkel Damsgaard stay at Sampdoria? / Alessandro Sabattini / Getty Images
Sampdoria has not yet replaced Claudio Ranieri as manager, but the one who takes over will have a chance to achieve something special.
The club has a nice mix of experienced quality and exciting youthful spark, with which a ninth placed finish was achieved last campaign.
The squad has had time to mingle further and after Mikkel Damsgaard’s old age show at Euro 2020, they have a very special star in their ranks – if he should of course stay.
They will be hopeful of presenting an outside threat to those who are further up the table this season, but with Allegers’ experience at the helm, Juve should see these types of matches.
Ivan Juric takes over at Torino / Nicolò Campo / Getty Images
2021/22 should be a year of rebuilding for Turin. After narrowly escaping relegation by finishing 17th with just 37 points to his name and changing coaches halfway through the season, there is a chance for a new face Ivan Juric to take the club into a new era.
Croatia had done impressive work at Greece’s Verona since 2019 and reached ninth and tenth places despite one of the league’s smallest budgets.
He will have more quality to work with in Turin and as a result they can take them back to higher heights – not one to write off for Juventus this season.
Jose Mourinho takes a Roma training session / Luciano Rossi / Getty Images
Who knows what Rome’s season will be like?
Jose Mourinho can recreate his first season magic and win the league, or disappoint the feverish fan base with boring football that makes them fight for European qualifiers – whatever happens, it should be fun as an outsider.
The Portuguese is already making his mark on the club and there seems to be a lot of speculation about incoming players to what is already a very strong group.
Mourinho is without a doubt a pragmatic coach and can get the best out of the squad – depending on speed, Roma could possibly be a dangerous perspective for Juventus.
Simone Inzaghi is the new face of Inter dugout / Alessandro Sabattini / Getty Images
As a title hunting club before the start of the campaign, it’s hard to know if it’s better to travel to the reigning champions early in the season or later.
And depending on how Allegi’s men begin, this fixture may come at the perfect time. Under the Italian manager, Juve have been much more used to windy starts to the season than not, so they can be easy to get this out of the way.
However, let’s not sugar coat it. This will be one of – if not, the – most challenging tests for any side to face in the coming campaign and while Antonio Conte will no longer oversee the process, Inter are still a formidable side.
Former Empoli boss Alessio Dionisi takes over at Sassuolo this season / Giuseppe Bellini / Getty Images
As previously mentioned, last season’s title B manager Dionisi will be at the helm of the Sassuolo 2021/22 campaign.
The club has had a very steady development in recent years, but after two consecutive eight placements, it is a high order to continue the journey in the right direction for the former Empoli manager.
They are an attacking side with exciting players – including three Euro 2020 winners in the young Giacomo Raspadori, skilled Domenico Berardi and stubborn Manuel Locatelli (although he may be on his way out) – but will probably not be able to challenge them Europe’s chasing sides yet.
And with Juventus’ quality, Old Lady will expect to enter matchday 11 due to a victory.