Deportivo finally worth watching as Ronaldo prepares to shoot on sight

The titters are only just dying down around Spain after the double teaming by Marca and AS on Monday which saw both papers claiming that the Pichichi top goalscorer prize was the only contest that really counted this season - aside from the Copa del Rey, of course.

The curious campaign certainly raised a chuckle in Catalonia and particularly in the offices of Mundo Deportivo, where Josep María Casanovas opined that “when it comes to the Ballon d’Or, Messi’s titles will be worth twice as much as the goals of Ronaldo.”

What the Madridista press were desperately trying to do was avoid the thorny topic of Barcelona being hours away from winning a third league title in a row, and the second under the presidential reign of Florentino Pérez II.

Both Capital City papers managed to dodge the Barça bullet again on Tuesday, with Madrid announcing the signing of Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin from Borussia Dortmund the day before. “Mourinho believes that the team needs other virtues as well as its stars,” says Marca’s editorial in a nod of approval and an tacit admission that the paper had never heard of the 22-year-old, much like everybody else.

The harsh reality is that if Real Madrid fail to beat Getafe in a 22:00 kick-off on Tuesday night, then Barcelona will be league champions no matter what happens in the Pep’s Dream Boys' clash with Levante on Wednesday. The other certainty is that Barcelona city centre is likely to be destroyed by hoodlums as has happened on at least ten occasions over the last three years by LLL’s inaccurate reckonings.

These wise guys won't be celebrating if Ronaldo finishes top scorer...

Tuesday’s Santiago Bernabeu clash looks a dead cert home win for Madrid - despite the fact that Ronaldo is expected to be shooting on sight all evening - but the same was said about the recent defeat to Zaragoza. What’s more, José Mourinho already appears to be taking the match a little less seriously than usual by resting Iker Casillas for the game and including Pedro León in the squad. If Karim Benzema trots out onto the field then it will surely be Getafe’s lucky night, something that many of the crowd won’t mind at all claims Míchel the Manager.

“I know that there are a lot of Madridistas that want Getafe to win,” joked the soon-to-be-fired Getafe boss.

Atlético Madrid’s European charge was going far too well of late, which is why the Rojiblancos opted to blow Saturday’s match against Málaga with a 3-0 home defeat. Quique’s Crumblers have the chance to foul up all over again with a midweek trip to Racing, who are looking for one win to ensure that their Primera passport is renewed for another year.

Although forward Diego Costa is suspended for the encounter in Santander, that doesn’t necessarily mean Diego Forlán is set to be restored to the starting line-up, at least according to the little hints from Quique Sánchez Flores, who noted that “there are a couple of players who can partner Kun.”

Málaga are another team that could well see themselves safe with a win over Sporting, but the whopper of a game on Tuesday evening is Deportivo’s clash against a visiting Athletic Bilbao.

The normally down-in-the-dumps Deportivo boss, Miguel Angel Lotina, is even more emotional this week after what he feels was an incorrect injury time penalty call that cost his side two points against Sporting. The manager of the the third-from-bottom side had a prod and a verbal poke at the weekend’s referee and sarcastically made a gesture for the Sporting fans to applaud the man-in-the-middle as he stropped off the pitch.

“I don’t regret anything, the journey, the line-up, the changes, what I said...I don’t regret a word,” blustered Lotina, who is still awaiting a disciplinary decision on whether he can sit on the Deportivo bench on Tuesday night. Deportivo goalkeeper, Dani Aranzubía, was less thrusting and predicted gloomily that “if we don’t beat Athletic then everything’s lost.”

The big challenge that Deportivo face in La Riazor, aside from having to rely on Riki for goals, is that Athletic have an awful lot to play for with a European spot looking a strong possibility.

Although Madrid is set to be the centre of attention, Deportivo are the team to watch this midweek - something LLL is writing for the first time in the its 77 year history.