Valladolid and Leganés back in the top flight

Valladolid and Leganés back in the top flight

Two teams have won automatic promotion to next season's La Liga, with one more to be decided in the playoffs

The regular season of LaLiga Hypermotion, the Spanish second tier, is over and FC Barcelona can welcome both Valladolid and Leganés back into the top flight. The former were already confirmed a week ago, while the side from Madrid grabbed their place on the final day.

Valladolid bounce straight back up again

Real Valladolid were relegated at the end of the 2022/23 season, but they have won their way back up at the first attempt. They did it with a game to spare, beating Villarreal B 3-2 at the José Zorrilla with the decisive two goals both coming in an amazing injury time period.

The most successful side from Castilla-Leon are no strangers at all to Barça. Their iconic violet and white striped tops having graced LaLiga 45 times over the years. From 1981 to 2004 they only missed one season, and although they have been relegated five times this century, they have never taken too long to return.

Leganés - FC Barcelona (2-1)

Cucumbers back after four years

A 2-0 defeat of Elche at Butarque on Sunday means that Leganés will be rejoining the elite after a four-year absence. This will be their second stint in LaLiga after they played four consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2020. In that time, they lost seven of the eight games that they played against Barça.

It means that the Community of Madrid will have five teams in LaLiga next season, and also means the return of the South Madrid derby between Leganés and their arch-rivals Getafe.  

One more to be decided

The third and final newbie will be decided in the promotion playoffs. One of the four contenders is Barça's local rivals Espanyol, who have been playing second division football for only the sixth time ever. So far, they have always managed to return at the very first attempt, but if they are to keep that record intact, they're going to have to do it the hard way.

The 'parakeets' will be playing Sporting Gijon in the semi-final. A regular top flight campaigner in the latter years of the 20th century, Sporting have been a less regular feature in recent seasons, and are hoping to put an end to a seven-year spell in the second tier.

Matters have been even worse for the other traditional footballing giant of Asturias. After they were relegated from LaLiga in 2001, Oviedo hit a desperate financial crisis and dropped down to the fourth tier. The club very nearly disappeared altogether, but they have slowly picked themselves up again and are back knocking on the Liga door...

They will face Eibar in their semi. The Basque side that wears similar colours to Barça played some impressive football after winning their way into the first division for the first time in 2014. They held onto their place for seven years before finally dropping back down, but they could be back for a second period among the big boys next year.

Força Barça
Força Barça

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