Lees-Melou assesses ex-club Dijon
Unbeaten at home since PSG’s visit back in October, Dijon are by no means a side that Nice can take lightly on Saturday – as their former star Pierre Lees-Melou knows only too well.
Having left Burgundy for Nice last summer, Pierre Lees-Melou is fully aware of Dijon’s strengths, and is hoping his knowhow can silence two former team-mates in particular.
“Tavares and Sammaritano are the dangermen”
“Julio Tavares is dangerous, he’s a real goalscorer. He’s so often in the right place, you have to be careful. But there’s also Frédéric Sammaritano who has bags of experience and rarely puts a foot wrong. They’re the two dangermen. Dijon are a strong team with a clear game plan. It won’t be easy for us, we will have to be at our best.”
Beaten by a Mario Balotelli penalty in December, Dijon will be hoping for revenge this weekend The bad news for the hosts is that Balotelli is set to return from suspension for Lucien Favre’s side. The Cote d’Azur outfit are yet to win a league game without the Italian this term.
Lees-Melou on Balotelli: “He’s a deadly striker”
Lees-Melou said of the Italian: “He’s a top player, a deadly striker. He’s on course for his best ever season this year. I hope he can continue his form until the end of the campaign.”
With ‘Super Mario’ back, Nice will look to return to form having lost their last two games, against Toulouse and Metz: “We’re not worried, the losing margins have been small. Against Metz, I think things would’ve panned out differently if I hadn’t been sent off. We have to work hard now, and take all three points at Dijon.”
Having climbed from 18th to seventh in the space of two months, Nice are keen to push on and secure a third consecutive season of European football. Lees-Melou admitted: “Of course we have one eye on European qualification. It would be hugely disappointing not to get there. Not just for our supporters who are used to it now, but also for us, the players.”