Huesca bounced back to the top flight at the first attempt by putting a late run together to win the Segunda Division title last season. With former Rayo boss Michel at the helm, they’ll be hoping to learn from the mistakes of their solitary previous campaign at this level which ended in relegation. Read on for our Huesca season preview.
Last Season – 1st (Segunda Division)
While they did have the advantage of a bit of a cash windfall following their surprise season in LaLiga in 2018/19, Huesca weren’t many people’s top tips to clinch automatic promotion and an immediate return to the top flight.
With Michel (recently dismissed by Rayo Vallecano) at the helm, they made a decent start to life in the Segunda Division with 6 wins from their opening 10 games. However away day struggles continued to thwart their promotion bid and even by the end of the campaign, Huesca only averaged 1.05 points per game on the road, an incredibly low figure for a title winning team.
At El Alcoraz though, they were dominant with a 71% win percentage and the best home record in the league. With no real star player, their team ethos ultimately proved the deciding factor as they managed to overhaul the likes of Almeria, Girona, Zaragoza and eventually even Cadiz in the final few weeks of the season to win the title on the final weekend.
The last matchday was the first time all season that Huesca had climbed to top spot but they were worthy champions for holding their nerve in the home straight while just about everybody around them lost theirs.
Huesca Summer Transfers
Pablo Insua | from Schalke | Undisclosed
Sergio Gomez | from Borussia Dortmund | LOAN
Gastón Silva | from Independiente | FREE
Andres Hernández | from Villarreal | Undisclosed
(Transfers up to 6th September 2020.)
Coach – Michel
There is a certain symmetry to Huesca this season with both coach and club looking for redemption following relegation from LaLiga in 2018/19. Michel didn’t survive long enough to go down with his beloved Rayo Vallecano but after a season of struggle, the writing did already look to be on the wall when he was sacked in March 2019 by the Madrid club.
Huesca came calling last summer and it has proven to be a happy marriage with the Aragonese club securing an immediate return to the top flight as champions while Rayo missed out on the play-offs under Michel’s successor Paco Jemez.
It’ll be interesting to see quite how Michel approaches this season and whether he learns any lessons from his last stint in the top flight. He tends to prefer a passing style of play but will need to find a way of making his team competitive on the road, having struggled for away results even in the second tier.
Possible Huesca Line Up 2020/21
We may see a mixture of 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 from Michel’s Huesca this season. Against the stronger teams, that 4-3-3 may more take the shape of a 4-5-1 with greater pressure on their attack-minded wingers to do a solid defensive job for their team.
There will be competition for places in several areas including in the goalkeeper position where new signing Andrés Fernández looks likely to be first choice with last season’s number one Álvaro Fernández warming the bench.
Uruguayan international Gaston Silva looks like a good addition and should force his way into their starting XI either at full-back or centre-back. Pablo Insua has converted his loan switch from Schalke into a permanent deal and may be the most likely initial partner for captain Jorge Pulido in the heart of the defence. They may also look to add a right-back before the window closes with doubts over 36 year old Pedro Lopez’s ability to perform at this level at such a late stage in his career.
In midfield, we should see continuity from last season where Mikel Rico, Pedro Mosquera and Juan Carlos formed an effective trio having all arrived in the summer of 2019. While they weren’t around for Huesca’s previous LaLiga campaign, all three have top flight experience.
In the final third, David Ferreiro and Rafa Mir are both key men capable of creating and scoring goals. They should feature either side of experienced Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki who top scored for Huesca with 12 goals last term.
We’ll have match previews for every LaLiga game when the new season commences.
Key Man – Rafa Mir
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— SD Huesca (@SDHuesca) July 23, 2020
Huesca signed Rafa Mir on an 18-month loan from Wolves in January and he was an instant hit at El Alcoraz. The 23 year old scored 9 goals to aid Huesca’s promotion push at an average of one every 117 minutes. That’s an outstanding ratio in a low-scoring league and he is capable of featuring through the middle or wide on the right which should ensure he is a regular starter for Michel this season. If he can continue his resurgence after a difficult spell in England, he could be Huesca’s difference maker in tight games.
One to Watch – Sergio Gómez
Another young player to keep an eye on is 20 year old Sergio Gomez. Having progressed through the Barcelona youth ranks he moved to Borussia Dortmund in 2018 and he has briefly featured in the Bundesliga for the German giants. The attacking midfielder was on loan at El Alcoraz last term and will be hoping to get opportunities to showcase his talent on the bigger stage this term.
Huesca 2020/21 Targets
As with all the newly promoted clubs, Huesca’s only serious aim this season will be trying to avoid the drop. They are a very small club and don’t really belong at this level in truth but on the pitch, they arguably look the best equipped of the new boys to avoid relegation.
While their squad has undergone a significant overhaul since the 2018/19 LaLiga season, there are a few surviving members and many of their recent signings have played in the Spanish top flight before so they ought to be aware of what to expect. They take momentum into the campaign following a strong charge to promotion only a couple of months ago and if they can make their home ground tough for visiting teams again, they’ve every chance of winning what is likely to be a relegation battle.
LLE Prediction: 16th
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