The lowdown on our Serie A counterparts ahead of their visit to Macron Stadium next month
Following confirmation that Bolton Wanderers will face Chievo Verona at Macron Stadium in their final pre-season fixture before the start of the 2015/16 Sky Bet Championship season, bwfc.co.uk takes a look at the club Neil Lennon's side will be facing next month.
Who are they?
A.C. Chievo Verona are an Italian Serie A side based in the Chievo suburb in Verona. Founded in 1929, they have been known by their current name since 1990 having risen through the entire Italian football pyramid during the second half of the 20th century.
Their head coach is former player Rolando Maran, while club President Luca Campedelli is also the owner of 'Paluani' - a bakery product company.
They play at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi in Verona, sharing the 38,402-capacity stadium with city rivals Hellas Verona having moved into the ground after winning promotion to Serie C2 in 1986.
The stadium was also one of the venues for the 1990 World Cup and hosted four matches including a round-of-16 clash between Spain and Yugoslavia.
While next month’s clash with Chievo will be Wanderers’ first ever meeting with the Serie A side, they have hosted their fierce rivals Hellas Verona before – goals from Youri Djorkaeff and Jonathan Walters securing a 2-0 win at the Reebok Stadium in August 2002.
Despite only returning to Serie A after a 13-year absence in 2013, Hellas remain the bigger and more popular of the two Verona-based sides, though Chievo have built up their fan-base during their time in the top-flight.
The Flying Donkeys
Although primarily nicknamed ‘Gialloblu’ (Yellow-Blues), Chievo are also known as ‘Mussi Volanti’ which translates as Flying Donkeys.
Originally a derogatory term taken from local-rivals Hellas Verona’s chant of “When donkeys'll fly, we'll have a derby in Serie A”, Chievo’s recent successes on the pitch, alongside Hellas’ own struggles, have seen supporters largely embrace it as a badge of honour.
By finishing third in Serie B in the 2000/01 season, Chievo won promotion to Serie A for the first time in the club’s history.
They have remained a top-flight side ever since, barring the 2007/08 season where they secured an immediate return to Serie A as Serie B champions.
Despite their relative inexperience in top-flight football, Chievo started the 2006/07 season in the Champions League, only to lose in the third qualifying stage to Levski Sofia.
However, they have competed in the UEFA Cup on a couple of occasions, having first qualified for the competition in their first season in Serie A.
Germany legend Oliver Bierhoff finished his career with a season at Chievo in 2002/03. The Euro 96 winner scored a hat-trick in his last ever match for the Flying Donkeys at home to Serie A champions Juventus before hanging up his boots once and for all.
Current Juventus defender and Italy World Cup winner Andrea Barzagli is also a former Chievo player, while former Premier League players Marco Ambrosio, Michael Bradley, Bernardo Corradi, Gelson Fernandes, John Mensah and Victor Obinna have all enjoyed stints with the club.
Former Watford head coach Giuseppe Sannino was also briefly in charge of the club in 2013, prior to taking over at Vicarage Road.
Last season Chievo finished 14th in Serie A, nine points clear of the relegation zone but a place and three points behind local-rivals Hellas Verona.
Leading goalscorer Alberto Paloschi has been Chievo’s star man in recent seasons. The former AC Milan forward finished the 2014/15 season with nine league goals, while his performances also saw him named in Antonio Conte’s senior Italy training camp squad last month.
Visits to UK
Although yet to face British opposition in competitive action, Chievo have been frequent visitors to the United Kingdom in pre-season in recent years.
Blackburn Rovers, Middlesbrough, Queens Park Rangers and West Bromwich Albion have all hosted the Italian club, while they most recently faced Cardiff City in South Wales prior to the start of the 2013/14 season.
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