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Can La Liga first-timers SD Huesca produce a survival miracle?

| 22.06.2018

Odds are stacked against Aragon outfit

Fans of Spanish club SD Huesca are still pinching themselves, with the tiny Aragon club currently preparing for their first ever La Liga campaign.

To say they’re underdogs is putting it lightly. Huesca’s home ground, El Alcoraz, holds just 5,500 spectators.

Their new boss is entering his first ever job in management. And they’ve spent less than £400k on players in the past 12 months.

The Coral News Team look at whether the top-flight newboys can do the unthinkable and survive in the big time…

Mixed blessings in the squad

Unsurprisingly for a team on such a tight budget, Huesca’s squad is made up almost entirely of savvy loan acquisitions, free signings and a smattering of youth products.

Their top performer last term was 19-year-old Cucho – a striker on loan from Watford. It’s a two-year loan agreement, so they have the pacy and clinical striker in their ranks once again this term.

The Colombian netted 16 goals and chalked up six assists in his 35 outings in the Segunda Division last term.

Midfielder Gonzalo Melero has been another key source of goals, while they have quality on the wing in the form of the tricky Alex Gallar.

However, central midfield duo Lluis Sastre and Luso are entering the twilight of their careers, and could really struggle against the top-flight’s more mobile midfields.

New boss presents an unknown

Huesca suffered a huge setback earlier this month, following the departure of previous head coach Rubi to Espanyol.

The 48-year-old had overseen the most successful season in the club’s history, and boasted prior top-flight experience in the dugout as boss of Levante.

His replacement is a far more unknown quantity – at least as a head coach.

Former Argentina international Leo Franco ended his playing career with Huesca in 2016, but now takes his first steps in management.

Franco built a reputation as a reliable, confident and passionate player during his five successful years with Atletico Madrid. But whether he can instil those qualities into his new squad remains to be seen.

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Dave Burin