Assessing La Liga's promoted sides chances in 2014/15

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With the new La Liga season drawing ever closer, it is time to assess the chances of the three sides promoted from the Segunda División.

Eibar and Deportivo La Coruña finished first and second respectively in order to gain promotion, whilst a plucky Córdoba side entered the play-offs by virtue of Barcelona B's exclusion.

The Andalusian's beat Las Palmas on away goals, and now take their place in Spain's top flight.

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SD Eibar   

To discuss the events that almost threatened Eibar's participation in the top-flight next season would take an article in itself, so I will point you in the direction of The Guardian's excellent piece, that explains the situation thoroughly.

On the playing side, Eibar's 5,250 capacity stadium nestled in the rolling hills of Ipurúa is a sight to behold, and will bring more than a touch of romance to La Liga next season.

There is no getting away from the fact that Eibar might struggle next season. They are a fantastically run club, and the Armeros hierarchy should be lauded for keeping the club debt free.

Eibar's manager, 39-year-old Gaizka Garitano, knows the club inside out, having been a coach there since 2009. Garitano has spent his whole career, both playing and coaching, in the Basque country, so he will know more than most how to instil heart and courage into his side.

Centre-back Raúl Navas returns to the club, on loan from Real Sociedad, having been a feature in the centre of the Segunda División's best defence. Striker Ángel Luis, 27, and goalkeeper Jaime Jiménez, 33, signed from Levante and Real Valladolid respectively, both have experience in the top flight, but hardly set the league alight.

They are joined by Dani Garcia, from Real Sociedad B and Javi Lara, from Ponferradina in the Segunda.

Goals were hard to come by for Eibar, even in the second division, with only three other clubs in the top ten scoring fewer. Garitano will therefore aim to build his side around a solid defence, and hope the raucous atmosphere of the Ipurúa witness some famous victorious.

Their double promotion to the top-flight is a magical story, but supporters and players alike will be keen to ensure they aren't just there to make up the numbers.

Prediction: 20th

Deportivo La Coruña

The heady days of the early 2000's might be a distant memory for Dépor supporters, but they will no doubt be relieved to be back in La Liga, after dropping out in 2013. The aim for Victor Fernández will be to stop Dépor yo-yoing between the first and second division, and establish them in the top flight.

The transfer window has been slightly frustrating for Fernández, given he missed out on Bojan, but Dépor have nonetheless made some shrewd acquisitions.

José Rodriguez joined from Real Madrid's' Castilla side. The 19-year-old languid playmaker boasts plenty potential, whether at ten or in a deeper role, and should be an excellent signing.

Alongside him, Isaac Cuenca will be a crucial player for the Galician's, if he can stay fit. After joining from Barcelona on a free-transfer, the 23-year-old has already picked up a thigh-strain, and has been sent home from Dépor's pre-season tour.

It is a similar story for fellow new signing Lucas Pérez, who joined from PAOK Saloniki, only to strain knee ligaments. Former Spanish under-21 left-back Roberto Canella is a canny operator. The 26-year-old joins from Sporting Gijón, after spending his entire career in Asturia.

Rumoured signing Teófilo Gutiérrez would be a fantastic coup for the side, making up for the disappointment of missing out on Bojan. However competition for the 29-year-old will be vast, so it remains to be seen whether they can agree a deal.

One deal that is near completion is that of highly-rated Argentine Bruno Zuculini, from Manchester City. The 20-year-old combative midfielder is a new signing at City, but his immediate future appears to lie in Spain.

Again goalscoring was an issues last season, with Borja Baston top scoring on ten goals. A new striker would be a massive boost to the club, especially in tandem with playmaker José Rodriguez's signing. They should have enough to keep themselves in La Liga, but it will be tight.

Prediction: 15th

Córdoba CF

Having scraped into La Liga via the play-offs, Córdoba have added no less than twelve players to their squad. For a promoted side they scored few and conceded too many, so Albert Ferrer, the former Barça and Chelsea full-back, will have a tough job on his hands, especially considering his relatively inexperienced coaching background.

Two players stand out from their incoming transfers, Federico Cartabia from Valencia, and Ryder Matos from Fiorentina.

Fede, as he is nicknamed, joins the club on a season-long loan, with high expectations at both Córdoba and Valencia. The diminutive winger is fast and skilful, and having played 25 times last season for Los Ches, represents something of a coup.

Ryder Matos was a similarly hyped youngster, but his career has stalled since joining Fiorentina in 2008. The move came too early for the Brazilian, but now, at 21, he needs to begin fulfilling his potential. He will operate on the opposite wing to Fede, and can provide the spark Córdoba will need in La Liga.

In a bid to solve their problems in front of goal, Córdoba have signed Japanese international Mike Havenaar, from Vitesse in Holland. At 6ft 4in the striker should pose issues for La Liga defences. After reaching double figures in consecutive Eredivise campaigns, Los Califas will be hoping he has what it takes to keep them up.

Ferrer's toughest assignments will be gelling his squad together, with a plethora of new signings. If he manages this feat, they have one or two players that can make the difference in matches, which could be a major boost.

Prediction: 17th  

How do you think the promoted sides will fare? Have your say in the comment box below...

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