The ball-touching La Liga predictions


Real Zaragoza (20th) v Barcelona (4th)

There’s trouble at mill at bottom-of-the-table Zaragoza, with shirty Italian defender Matteo Contini getting chucked out of training on Wednesday for being all Benzema with his enthusiasm for training. José Aurelio Gay is still in charge of the team - just - and sent him home with no tea after firing a number of warning shots over his defensive bow in regards to his half-hearted ways.

“When there are attitudes that don’t correspond to the values of the Real Zaragoza shirt, they're out of here. You have to work hard. If you don't then there’s no place for you in the team,” stropped assistant boss, Nayim-from-the-halfway-line.

“We need everyone, but we need the best Contini,” assured Nayim, who said that he hoped the Italian had gone home to have a long, hard think about what he had done.

LLL Prediction – Away win


Real Madrid (1st) v Racing Santander (16th)

Tired of flippin’, fussy footballers moaning about lacking loot? Then here’s a toe-tingling and uncharacteristically fluffy story for you from LLL in regards to Real Madrid’s Esteban Granero.

Not needed that much these days by José Mourinho, aside from the odd outing when the team is 2-0 up with ten minutes to go, the midfielder has turned to charidee to pass the time.

Granero has set up a football academy in Madrid for children, “Los Piratas de Granero”, named after his moniker as “The Pirate” - the Real Madrid man sports a 2007 Kings of Leon look, which is rare for a footballer in Spain.

“It upsets me when a kid who has talent can’t develop because of economic limitations. It seems unfair, so I’m trying to lend them a hand using my privileged position,” said Granero before going off to find out what Wayne Rooney would charge for a visit.

LLL Prediction – Home win


Valencia (3rd) v Mallorca (11th)

With Chori Domínguez being largely quite rubbish, Roberto Soldado wholly unreliable and Aritz Aduriz sort of ok from time-to-time, AS are reporting that the club are after another striker in January - especially considering that the men from Mestalla relied on an own goal from Edu for their rather fortunate point in Ibrox on Wednesday night.

The slight sticking point in the club’s cunning plan is that Valencia’s lack of resources means that a striker who can score as many goals as David Villa but who is completely free are the main requirements. Good luck with that.

LLL Prediction - Home win



Getafe (9th) v Sporting (12th)

Friday’s Marca is very excited indeed in reporting the lead story news that José Mourinho gathers all his players and staff into a big circle in the dressing room ahead of every game. “Not even the studs on the floor can be heard,” pants the paper getting into a bit of hot-flushed tizz.

It’s the kind of girlie nonsense that you wouldn’t see the greatest manager in the top flight engaging in. Sporting’s Manuel Preciado is now celebrating becoming the longest serving manager in the club’s history having taken over the Gíjon club in 2006 and lead them out of la Segunda armed with nothing more than a billion cigarettes, a splendid moustache, a rather graphic use of the language and limitless enthusiasm.

Preciado is also the longest serving manager in La Primera at the moment. All without the resorting to ‘circles of trust’, no doubt.

LLL Prediction - Away win


Almería (17th) v Hércules (10th)

The only reason why Almería were not spanked 12-0 rather than by the single effort by Racing, last weekend, was due to a stunning goalkeeping shift put in by Diego Alves who registered 15 saves.

Although the Racing strikers being blooming hopeless may have been a factor, too. However, the game still ended in a home defeat for the Brazilian, but it could have been a lot worse as he nearly lost his lucky mascot.

Well. Rather than a mascot, it is a sort of small, silver representation of the Virgin of Our…er…Lady…Appeared…or something like that anyway. Diego Alves was leaving the pitch and accidentally dropped the object on the pitch.

Whilst fearing it had been lost forever, a police officer came to the dressing room and reunited the goalkeeper with his charm. “It is always with me, I feel good with it,” confessed – no pun intended – the main man of Almería.

LLL Prediction – Home win


Osasuna (18th) v Málaga (14th)

With the Pamplona side having largely been pretty pants for much of the start of the season, local Osasuna nut-job, Walter Pandiani, has issued a rallying call - he doesn’t really do any other kind - that everyone at the club is giving their all.

“We all want to move forward,” promised the striker, “there’s no-one here standing around touching their balls. In every training session the gaffer is fixing mistakes, can have a pop at the technical team in their job.”

However, this call to arms won’t do any good with the mighty Málaga set to start their top six charge in Navarre.

LLL Prediction - Away win


Espanyol (6th) v Levante (13th)

As has already been mentioned by LLL, the notion of Espanyol being in sixth is a complete mystery to both the blog and at least one of the club’s fans. Facing Levante at home on Sunday, where the Pericos have won three from three this season, may even push Espanyol further up the table.

However, the Catalan club are going into the game without striker, Osvaldo, as he reacted rather badly to what was admittedly a soft sending off against Mallorca, last week, by having barneys with both the referee and Mallorca match delegate before storming off the pitch.

In fact, Espanyol are going to be without the fiery forward for three games after suggesting that the ref was “a disaster”. “His attitude cannot be justified but a three game penalty does seem excessive,” complained Espanyol coach, Mauricio Pochettino.

LLL Prediction – Home win


Sevilla (7th) v Athletic Bilbao (8th)

For those who still have some lingering sympathy for Mallorca being thrown out of the Europa League by UEFA for falling into administration, then please shred that last remnant of pity and blast it into space.

Athletic Bilbao president, Fernando García Macua, has revealed that the Balearic club still haven’t finished paying for the striker since he moved from San Mamés in the summer of 2008 even though he has subsequently jumped ship to Valencia.

The Bilbao big wig claims that Athletic have received around €4m over the past couple of years for the striker but are still trying to squeeze €2.5m more out of Mallorca’s hands. LLL suspects the Basque club will be waiting a long time.

LLL Prediction - Away win


Villarreal (2nd) v Atlético Madrid (5th)

Marca have celebrated – if that is the appropriate word – the anniversary of the sacking of Abel Resino from the Vicente Calderón, an event that triggered the appointment of Quique Sánchez-Flores and the Rojiblancos actually winning something, by catching up with the grumpy-faced former goalie.

LLL’s spies tell the blog that Resino has been looking for a job in England and he has revealed himself that he has been camped there for the last year or so. And he has some tall tales to tell about what he found. “At Bolton, for example, I saw how the team was losing and the fans kept on cheering.”

Resino claims that Atleti were just about to turn a corner before he was booted out the door in 2009 but that his former bosses to were too fast to fire him. “We have to change our philosophy in Spain…you get bad results and the coach also has to pay for them.”

LLL Prediction – Home win



Real Sociedad (15th) v Deportivo (19th)

LLL normally looks forward to the Monday night games, as they have been a bit special so far this season. This won’t be the case, this week, with Deportivo stinking up the screens whilst looking for their fourth goalless draw of the current campaign.

LLL Prediction – Goalless draw