Learn more about Saints’ fifth pre-season opponents, French Ligue 1 side Dijon FCO...
WHERE DO THEY PLAY?
The Stade Gaston Gérard has been Dijon’s home since 1934, with a capacity of 20,000 following the completion of a recent renovation in the summer of 2017.
The newly reformed Burgundy club – a merger between two local sides in 1998 - made their French top-flight bow at the stadium with a 5-1 defeat to Rennes on 7 August 2011. The arena’s greatest claim to fame outside of France was its hosting the late great Bob Marley in June 1981.
HOW DID THEY DO LAST SEASON?
Dijon defied all expectations in their second consecutive season in Ligue 1, bucking the trend of organised and defensive newly-promoted sides in an eye-catching 2017/18 campaign.
Building on a successful survival bid the previous season, Olivier Dall’Oglio’s men stayed true to the attacking virtues that had taken them up from Ligue 2 while adapting admirably to the physical demands of France’s top flight to rack up 48 points and an 11th-place finish.
The results were often explosive: Saints’ French opponents ended the season with the best scoring record (55) outside the division’s top four and the second worst defence (73).
Former Strasbourg and Rennes defender Dall’Oglio has occupied the Dijon hotseat since 2012, overseeing the club’s rise from Ligue 2 and consolidation in Ligue 1 in a fruitful six-season spell so far.
The 54-year-old was twice voted Ligue 2’s manager of the season and joined Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim, PSG’s Unai Emery and Marseille’s Rudi Garcia on the list of nominees for this year’s award in the top flight on the back of an exciting and unexpectedly successful campaign.
WHO ARE THE PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR?
Dall’Oglio’s all-action, high-energy style is epitomised by South Korean Kwon Chang-hoon.
An achilles injury denied the attacking midfielder what would have been a deserved spot on the place to Russia for the World Cup and denied his nation one of their key attacking threats.
A return of 11 goals and three assists cutting in from the right-hand side made him one of the breakout stars of the season in France after finding his feet following a move from Suwon Bluewings in January 2017.
Backed up by a selection of fleet-footed and flexible forwards, target man Julio Tavares is the focal point of Dijon’s attack.
The Cape Verdean’s hold-up play is integral to Dall’Oglio’s fluid 4-2-3-1 system, as were a career-best 11 league goals last term, equalling his tally across six seasons with the club.
DID YOU KNOW?
Only games involving PSG (137), Monaco and Lyon (both 130) produced more goals than Dijon’s (128) last season. A tally of 55 scored and 73 conceded ensured that there was never a dull moment at the Stade Gaston Gérard.