Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said he was confident Gonzalo Higuain can play Friday’s Serie A clash with Napoli despite having surgery on a broken finger this week.
“Gonzalo Higuain’s hand is still hurting, but we’re quietly confident about his chances. We’ll have to see how he feels later today and tomorrow,” said Allegri.
The 29-year-old Higuain, who left Napoli in 2016 for Turin in a 90 million euro ($106 million) deal, and has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season, underwent surgery on a fractured bone in his left hand on Monday.
“Right now, the only forwards who are 100 percent fit are Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa, so we’ll see if anyone can add themselves to that list before kick-off,” continued the Juventus coach.
Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner is out of the game at the San Paolo Stadium but Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado and Italian winger Federico Bernardeschi have been training and should be available, he said.
Napoli are unbeaten in 14 league games — to sit top of the Italian league table with 38 points, four ahead of third-placed Juventus.
A defeat would see the six-time defending champions fall seven points behind Maurizio Sarri’s side.
“It’s a very important test for us, but not decisive,” said Allegri.
“It’s important to remember that just a few days after the Napoli match, we take on Olympiakos in Athens, where we need to reach our first target of the campaign — qualifying for the Champions League round of 16.”