Depor, Celta out to relive glory days

SaturdayMálaga     vs    Valladolid    16:00 Real Madrid     vs     Celta Vigo    18:00Valencia     vs     Athletic                20:00Deportivo     vs     Barcelona            22:00

Málaga     vs    Valladolid    16:00
Real Madrid     vs     Celta Vigo    18:00
Valencia     vs     Athletic                20:00
Deportivo     vs     Barcelona            22:00

Getafe     vs     Levante    12:00
Espanyol     vs     Rayo    16:00
Granada     vs     Zaragoza    17:50
Osasuna     vs     Betis    19:45
R Sociedad     vs     Atlético    21:30

Sevilla     vs     Mallorca    2130

MADRID - Celta Vigo’s trip to Real Madrid and Barcelona’s visit to Deportivo Coruna on Saturday provide stark reminders of the contrasting fortunes of La Liga’s leading duo compared to many of their rivals.

Champions Real, who are fifth after a poor start to the campaign, trail leaders Barca by eight points but there is little doubting that come next May the world’s two richest clubs by revenue will be the only ones battling for the title.

Ten years ago, Galician sides Depor and Celta were both up there competing for the top spot and finished third and fourth respectively. Vicente del Bosque’s Real team took the 2002-03 league title, with Barca finishing sixth.

That season, Depor triumphed 2-0 over Barca in the corresponding fixture at the Riazor, just a few months after beating Real 2-1 to win the King’s Cup final the previous season. Celta held Real 1-1 at the Bernabeu.

A repeat of those results this time round would be considered major upsets.

While Barca and Real have steadily increased their earnings up to the 500 million euro mark over the last decade, Celta and 2000 champions Depor have both crumpled under crippling debts.

Depor, with a budget of around 40 million euros ($52.48 million) and a debt of over 100 million, are in a precarious position having just returned from a season in the second division.

After an opening day win, their coach Jose Luis Oltra is under pressure following a run of three draws and three defeats which has left them 18th in the standings.

Celta, operating on a budget of around 33 million euros, are in a slightly healthier position.

Relegation in 2007 led to the club going into administration with a debt of around 70 million euros but their return after five years out of the top flight has started a little better.


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