Cultural Leonesa v Barcelona, Copa del Rey, October 28, 2009
Football matches rarely get any more David versus Goliath that this. (Barcelona are 2/3 to win both the first and second halves & 8/13 to score in both halves.)
The term minnow was coined for teams like Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa. Located in the northwest region of Spain, Leonesa play their domestic football in Segunda Liga B, Spain’s third tier, and only ever played top flight football once in their 86 year history, way back in 1956/57.
Since then they have only played in the second and third levels of the game in Spain, and they are currently trying to hold onto their Segunda B status lying 17th in the 20-team league, with only two wins from their opening ten matches of the season.
Leonesa have struggled to reach this stage of the competition, having progressed to the fourth round thanks to two wins on penalties as well as claiming a 4-nil drumming over Union Estopona in the second round.
Now they face the title holders over two legs in a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, with their coach Josu Uribe (pictured) daring to dream of one of the biggest giant-killing acts in the history of football, after being quoted saying “if the only game was in Leon, it would be easier. A double header is very difficult”.
After their home defeat to Rubin Kazan in the Champions League last week, giant-killings are all too familiar to Pep Guardiola.
That said, Barca will be hugely confident that the side they send out over the two legs will have far too much guile, class and ability about them to be the victims of the upset of the century, even though the starting eleven will include a host of unfamiliar names to the average watching punter. (Barca are 4/7 to keep a clean sheet)
Of the fringe players set to be included, Rafael Marquez and Bojan Krkic will likely be the leaders of the cup team, while they will be supported by a host of youngsters including Israel’s answer to Leo Messi – Gai Assulin, Spanish centre-half Andreu Fontas, the younger brother of Gio – Jonathan dos Santos, and promising Spanish centre-forward Jonathan Soriano.
While a cricket score is unlikely to materialise, Barca should enjoy the opportunity to score several goals against Cultural Leonesa.
101gg predicts: Cultural Leonesa 0 – Barcelona 6 (50/1)
Full match odds here.