Thursday D-Day for Celtic stopper Van Dijk's appeal

VIRGIL VAN DIJK's appeal against the red card shown to him at Aberdeen on Tuesday will take place on Thursday.

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  • Van Dijk is facing a ban for one SPFL fixture
    Van Dijk is facing a ban for one SPFL fixture
  • Van Dijk is facing a ban for one SPFL fixture

Celtic boss Neil Lennon will include the Dutchman in his side to face Inverness today.

But, if the appeal is turned down, Van Dijk will have to sit out the SPFL game against Kilmarnock on Friday, March 14.

With the Hoops having no match next weekend due to Scottish Cup quarter-finals being played, that could mean the defender idle for three weeks between today's game and the home game against St Mirren on March 22.

However, Lennon is adamant the club will be able to mount a strong case to have the red card shown by Craig Thomson after Van Dijk brought down Peter Pawlett rescinded.

The Hoops boss insists it is not not a flippant appeal, but is uncertain how the case will go.

Lennon said: "We have appealed Virgil's red card because we think it is worthwhile doing.

"We feel Efe Ambrose was coming round, and also based on the deviation of the ball and the angle Pawlett was taking it.

"I think Efe would have got over there."

Lennon added: "We will see what the outcome will be. You just never know with these things.

"But, it's not like we are wasting anybody's time on it. We feel we have a decent case."

While Van Dijk will be in his usual place today, Ambrose faces an anxious wait to see if his below-par performance at Pittodrie will cost him his starting spot.

Lennon wants his side to bounce back immediately from the disappointment of seeing their Premiership unbeaten run ended.

And he was delighted Fraser Forster's frustration at not being able to extend his clean sheet record even further was salved somewhat by the news the keeper has been included in the England squad for Wednesday's friendly against Denmark, along with Joe Hart, Ben Foster and John Ruddy.

Lennon believes the giant Geordie should be handed one of the goalie spots in the squad which heads to Brazil this summer.

In fact, he considers the Hoops keeper to be pushing Hart for the title as No.1, and believes it would be a travesty if he missed out on the finals.

Lennon said: "That's just based on his talent alone.

"If he is not as good as Joe Hart, he is almost as good and is pushing Joe all the way now."

Lennon added: "It's an interesting dynamic with the four goalkeepers named for this week's squad.

"Normally, for a World Cup squad it will be three out of the four.

"We are all hoping Fraser will be one of the three. It's fantastic he is that final squad, as it were.

"He's a heck of keeper and has had a brilliant season."


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