Juventus
    12.09.2015 09:00 - in: Serie A S

    Three key men for Chievo

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    After bursting out of the traps this season with two victories and seven goals, Juventus.com takes a look at Chievo’s three men operating in the final third

    Chievo make their way to Juventus Stadium sitting top of the pile, not only in terms of league position but also for having found the net more than any other Serie A side so far this term.

    Juventus.com takes a look at the Gialloblu's three attacking players, who have contributed to every one of the club’s seven goals in 2015/16.

    Valter Birsa, 29, Attacking midfielder

    Just like the whole team, Valter Birsa has been in terrific form at the start of the season. Playing in the hole just behind frontmen Alberto Paloschi and Riccardo Meggiorini, Birsa already has two goals in as many matches, while also having turned provider on three occasions. Dangerous in the final third, the 29-year-old is equally adept at playing pinpoint balls to the strikers from wide and deep positions and this has formed a big part of Chievo’s recent success of hitting teams on the counter attack, a formula they will surely look to replicate when they turn out at Juventus Stadium tomorrow evening. The Slovenian international is also his side’s dead-ball specialist and has already scored a free-kick this term in the 4-0 home win over Lazio.

    Birsa first broke onto the scene with his hometown club Gorica, where he managed 26 goals in 63 appearances, an impressive tally for a midfielder. It was there that he caught the attentions of foreign clubs and it would not be long until he switched Slovenia’s top division for French side Sochaux in 2006, before moving to Ligue 1 rivals Auxerre three years later. Five goals in his final year at the Burgundy-based outfit earned Birsa a move to Genoa and later Milan, following a brief spell at Torino. After netting a couple of goals for the Rossoneri, Chievo swooped to secure his services on loan last season and have quickly reaped the rewards this term, as the left-footed playmaker has had an active role in five of his team’s first seven strikes of 2015/16.

    Riccardo Meggiorini, 30, Forward

    Riccardo Meggiorini joins Birsa on two goals so far this season, both of which opened the scoring for his side in the wins over Empoli and Lazio. The forward has also turned provider on as many occasions this term and, most impressively of all, has had a hand in 10 of Chievo’s last 18 goals in Serie A. Physically strong, the 30-year-old cuts an imposing figure in attack, winning more than his fair share of aerial battles against opposition defenders. An effective outlet and the pivot of the Flying Donkeys’ frontline, Meggiorini is adept at bringing his fellow strikers and onrushing midfielders into play.

    After learning his trade at youth level with city rivals Hellas Verona and later at Inter, Meggiorini made his name while leading the line for Cittadella, for whom he averaged more than a goal every three games, helping them get promoted to Serie B in 2008. A year later, he got his career break with a switch to Serie A with the colours of Bari. After netting five times in Puglia, he would don the shirts of fellow top-flight outfits Bologna, Genoa, Novara (on loan) and Torino before transferring to Rolando Maran’s Chievo last summer.

    Alberto Paloschi, 25, Forward

    Alberto Paloschi is Chievo’s top goal scorer in 2015/16, having found the net three times in the last two Serie A outings, which sees him occupy second position in Serie A’s goal scoring charts alongside Inter’s Stefan Jovetic and one behind Sampdoria’s Eder. Tall and strong, Paloschi too is a real handful for opposition defences and provides a genuine goal threat in the air, having already converted two headers in the Gialloblu’s opening pair of fixtures.

    At 25 years of age, Paloschi’s early season form could be an indicator that he is entering the peak of a career that has seen him score consistently both for Chievo and his former club Parma. Having emerged through Milan’s youth academy to make his Serie A debut and score his first goals in the division for the Rossoneri in 2007/08, Paloschi moved to a recently-relegated Parma and played a key role in their immediate promotion to Italy’s top flight, scoring 11 goals in the process. After a couple more seasons in Emilia Romagna and a short stint with Genoa, the former Italy Under 21 international secured a move to Chievo in 2011, where he has averaged almost a goal every three games.

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