Casey Baughan looks at the new Spanish team on the block.
It’s a tale of rags to somewhat riches. La Liga newcomers SD Huesca are now the second smallest team in the Spanish top tier. They have a stadium capacity of 7,500 and prior to their summer renovation, El Alcoraz made history as La Liga’s smallest ground with just 5,000 seats, pipping the Ipurua to the post at 7,083.
Home to over 50,000 people in a secluded and rural district of Aragon, the small and unbeaten team of SD Huesca meet the reigning Spanish champions Barcelona on Sunday. The two sides have a history, first meeting in a pre-season friendly in 1926 and, more recently, suffering a 12-1 aggregate defeat in the 2014/15 Copa del Rey campaign.
The Oscenses are making quite the impression as the 63rd different team play in the Spanish top flight. Few expect them to stay up, so they will be under no pressure, but following in the footsteps of promoted Levante and Girona is a possibility.
This rocket of a late equaliser from Ezequiel Avila against Bilbao will make you want to follow their fortunes.
Having scored four goals in two games this season, the Spanish minnows are far from short of striking ability. Their 87th minute leveller puts them sixth in La Liga, three places above fan favourites Atletico Madrid.
Player to watch: Cucho Hernández
The 19-year-old Colombian forward/right winger is on loan from Watford and helped his side gain promotion last season with 16 goals. Huesca will want to keep their most expensive player on a permanent contract. One to watch against champions Barcelona.
SD Huesca’s story:
The side has close affiliations with Barcelona. If you have ever wondered why they wear the same distinctive blue and red colours, here’s answer: The club was established by Barcelona supporters who registered the blaugrana colours with the Spanish Football Federation. Eibar and Levante complete the four teams that wear the blaugrana colour scheme.
Manager Joan Sicilia (Rubi) announced his departure after he led the club in its most successful season – winning promotion with a 2-0 win against Lugo in the 2017/18 season. Ex Argentinian and SD Huesca goalkeeper Leo Franco replaced Rubi and has gotten off to a flying start. Success and soaring the leagues has seen the club start to attempt the transformations needed to make it a competing Spanish force. The summer of 2018 brought a renovation to El Alcoraz to meet the top flight’s requirements – the standard additional seating, VIP and press boxes, toilets, car parks and a bar
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