Cecilia Salvai has admitted that she is expecting a tough test when Juventus Women take on Fiorentina Women on Sunday.
"Right now they’re the team to beat," she told Juventus TV. "It will be a tough game, as it always is against them. They showed how good they are in the Super Cup, but on Sunday we need to find an extra level. We’ll need a top performance."
The Bianconeri, of course, go into the game as Italian champions – a tag they’ll be doing everything they can to keep for another season.
"The Scudetto is a source of pride and an honour, especially because we won it in our first year," she said. "At the same time it’s motivating because it’s difficult to win again, but we’ll fight until the end to keep it on our chests."
Salvai also spoke more generally about the squad this year.
"We have a very competitive side," she said. "We’ve strengthened by bringing in lots of players from Italy and abroad who are integrating really well both on and off the pitch. That obviously has a positive effect on the field of play. This is a balanced, difficult league and many more teams are capable of taking points off us this year, but that’s what we expected."
With Juventus competing in the Champions League this year, the Bianconere also had to deal with added exertion right from the beginning of the campaign.
"We had more work and preparation to do this year because we had lots of matches right from the start of the season," she said. "Starting the league late doesn’t help in terms of the Champions League – that’s a problem for us in Italy. No matter how many friendlies you have, it’s not the same thing."
Watch the full interview on Juventus TV.