Gonzalo Higuain will be available for his side’s crucial game against Roma three weeks from now. Initially, he had been banned for four games which meant he would miss the match against the Giallorrosi, but the Appeals Court reduced the ban one game thus making him eligible for it.
The Roma Game
Napoli originally wanted the ban to be reduced to two games, and having the striker available when they receive Bologna at the San Paolo midweek, but they had to settle with a one-game reduction. This is still good news as the Roma game is the most important game remaining for the Partenopei in the league.
The Giallorossi trail them by only six points and a win in the Stadio Olímpico would leave Roma close behind. If Napoli were to finish third they’d be relegated to a play-off game to qualify for the Champions League next season; it already happened last season when they were defeated by Athletic Club and had to play in the Europa League.
The Argentinean was initially banned because of his reaction after being sent off in his side’s surprising defeat against Udinese two weeks ago. He pushed the referee, Massimiliano Irrati, and shouted at him and then intended to say something to the player that got him sent off, before being dragged away off the pitch by his teammates.
The ban has seriously hampered the striker’s chances of breaking the record of goals scored in a single season in Serie A. He now stands on 30 goals, five shy of Gunnar Nordahl’s 35, which he scored with AC Milan back in 1950.
He will have to score that amount in just four games, the amount remaining once the ban ends, against Roma, Atalanta, Torino and Frosinone. Not only that, this was a big blow for his team as he’s the most important player in the side and they can’t afford any more missteps if they still have any hope of bringing the scudetto back to Napoli for the first time since 1990.