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Márquez, Belletti and Iniesta in Balaidos / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

The second division finished at the weekend and the top two places were taken by two historic Galician teams – Deportivo de La Coruña and Celta Vigo. The third promotion place will be decided through play off games, but one thing is sure, Barça will be back in Galicia next season after just a year without making the trip to the North-West region of Spain.

Top flight experience

Just a year after they were relegated, Deportivo will be back in the top flight next season after winning the second division championship – six points ahead of the second place team, Celta. Deportivo were able to hold onto the backbone of the team that went down last year and put in a season of attractive, attacking football, with veteran Juan Carlos Valerón a key part of the winning team.

The last time Barça met Deportivo was in the 2010/11 season, when Guardiola’s team won 0-4 at the Riazor and in the return game at the Camp Nou, with the title already in the bag, the two shared a goalless draw. Riazor has traditionally been a tough ground for Barça, with 14 wins, 10 draws and 17 defeats in their 41 meetings.

Young team in Vigo

Second placed Celta will be back in La Liga after a five year absence following a successful season that saw them end as the division’s top scorers and the team who lost fewest games. Coached by Paco Herrera, Celta have a promising young squad with striker Iago Aspas, who made his debut under Eusebio Sacristán looking a particularly exciting prospect.

Balaídos has happy memories for Barça – it’s the ground where they won their second league title under Frank Rijkaard in 2006, whereas the Galicians have won just once at the Camp Nou – and that was 70 years ago.

 

Four play off teams

The four teams involved in the play offs for the third promotion slot are Valladolid, Cordobaa, Alcorcon and Hercules. The play offs begin this Wednesday and will be decided on June 17t.

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