AS Roma have been handed a boost after a suspension given to forward Nicolo Zaniolo was reduced on appeal, freeing him to play in their must-win Europa League match against Ludogorets.
The Italy international was shown a straight red card in the 2-1 defeat to Real Betis in Matchday 3, and was subsequently suspended for the return 1-1 draw against Betis and a 2-1 win over HJK last time out.
However, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Roma‘s appeal to UEFA to reduce the three-match ban has been successful, and Zaniolo is now available to feature at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday.
Zaniolo remains an injury doubt
Despite no longer facing a ban, Zaniolo may yet miss the match due to injury anyway, with the former Inter man taken off in Monday’s 3-1 win over Hellas Verona.
Zaniolo, who netted his first goal of the season in the victory, suffered heavy bruising after a second half challenge, and is being monitored at Roma‘s Trigoria training ground.
A decision is expected to be made on Wednesday as to whether he will feature, with Stephan El Shaarawy potentially in line to take his place.
Roma’s Europa League fate to be decided
The Giallorossi must beat their Bulgarian opponents in order to progress from Group C, having made a poor start to the competition.
Failure to get anything less than three points would see Jose Mourinho‘s side crash out of Europe at the first hurdle, just months on from winning the inaugural Europa Conference League.
With Betis already qualified, Roma and Ludogorets are level on points but the Bulgarian club sit above the Lupi on head to head, after winning the first match between them 2-1.