GARCIA FACES FAMILIAR FOES
Lille coach Rudi Garcia returns to Dijon for the first time since his departure five years ago fully focused on strengthening their grip on third place in Ligue 1.
The 48-year-old spent five years at Stade Gaston Gerard before, after one year at Le Mans, beginning his successful spell at his current club.
And while Garcia will encounter many familiar and friendly faces in Dijon on Saturday he insists he will not allow sentimentality to cloud his priorities.
"I have not faced Dijon at Gaston Gerard since I left in 2007. This return is special for me," he said.
"I do not forget how this club has counted and still counts. I know everybody in Dijon. I was manager of the club for five years and this experience allowed me to change my job.
"Until kick-off the friendship will prevail but during the match we will be opponents."
Retaining their league title may be a tough ask as Lille trail leaders Montpellier by seven points with six matches to go but securing Champions League football remains a priority and they hold a six-point advantage over fourth-placed Lyon.
Garcia is keen for his side to keep the pressure on the leaders but, more importantly, maintain the cushion they have over the chasing pack.
"We still have our destiny in our hands but it is clear that our position is more comfortable," he told losc.fr.
"Achieving a good performance in Dijon would be a step closer to securing a top-three place."
Dijon are just a point above the relegation zone and having lost their last two matches coach Patrice Carteron knows they have to start picking up points, even from sides at the top of the table.
"Lille have only very good players and an exceptional player, Eden Hazard, able to swing the match at any time," he told the French press.
"Technically, they are able to create a lot of chances and so it will raise our level of play in all areas.
"If you want to stay in Ligue 1, you need to take points against any team."
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