The final weekend predictions - Round 38
Murcia (19th) v Barcelona (3rd)This week, the Catalan press has been keeping itself busy by indulging in more anarchic acts of reckless speculation than Nick Leeson ever managed. Both Sport and Mundo Deportivo have churned out stories moving Eto'o to Spurs, Ronaldinho to Milan and Deco to either England or Italy. But the latest revelation comes from the moody midfielder himself. "I don't want to be where I'm not wanted," grumbled Deco on Thursday. "When things end like this, it's better to go." The TV viewers of this pointless 'partido' - which has been judged as the match of 'public interest' - will not be enjoying the sight of Ronaldinho playing his last encounter for the CulÃÂ©s as the Brazilian is still not ready for a return to action, despite the weeks of arduous nightclub-themed training he has been undertaking.
Away win. SundayGetafe (13th) v Betis (14th)This is set to be the final match in charge of Getafe for Michael Laudrup and it will be curious to see whether the Danish invader will be waved off by the home support with jeers or cheers. According to Marca, Getafe president Angel Torres was told by his Man City bound manager on Thursday that he was packing his bacon and heading to pastures new. Pato, for one, is not best pleased with how the whole affair has played out in the press, with Laudrup's agent having had a pop at the goalie for his UEFA cup errors against Bayern Munich. "He did it with a very bad intention and it has gone down very badly with the squad," moaned the shot-spilling stopper.
Home win. Recreativo (16th) v Valladolid (15th)Ordinarily this fixture would hold all the attraction of Luis Aragones in a pair of ill-fitting Speedos. But with the whiff of relegation hanging over the pair it's become Paz Vega pictured next to a pie.During the week, Recreativo pressie, Francisco Mendoza confirmed that Manolo Zambrano would remain at the Huelvan helm, wherever the side ends up playing next season. La Liga Loca suspects it will be in the Primera.
Home win. Valencia (12th) v Atletico (4th)11 years, 168 players and 400 million euros later, the rojiblancos have made their triumphant return to the Champions League. That's the stunning statistic worked out by Marca this week when they had moment to spare from making up stories about Cristiano Ronaldo.Although their European adventure may well be cut short at the hands of Arsenal come August it's a situation that the UEFA Cup bound Valencia would love to be in. Instead, they are set to a give a final outing to most of their squabbling squad on Sunday, with Villa, Silva, JoaquÃÂn, Albeda and CaÃÂ±izares all set to be packing their bags at the end of the match in Mestalla.
Home win. Mallorca (7th) v Zaragoza (18th)Take away Cristiano Ronaldo's four penalties scored in the league this season, then Dani GÃÂ¼iza has only scored one less than his Portuguese counterpart in the Premier League. And that's why GÃÂ¼iza is set to be heading to the European Championships this summer instead of Raul. That, and the fact that he sulks a lot less. Dazzling Dani's final mission for Mallorca this year is to leap into Zaragoza's grave on Sunday evening and hammer the nails into the calamitous club's coffin. The visitors to the Ono Estadi have decided to try and boost their fading survival chances by subsidising travel for away fans to back them in their Balearic battle. The Zaragoza faithful can either enjoy what will be one of their most miserable days in years by plane or by the more entertaining sounding boat from Barcelona which will cost a trifling 90 euros with a match ticket thrown in.
Home win.Racing Santander (6th) v Osasuna (17th)The second half of this deadly duo of dust ups sees Racing trying to grab one last win to push them into the UEFA Cup. But taking Zenit's crown is not the long term ambition of the Cantabrian club, according to the club president who has shown the kind of fighting talk to put Kevin Keegan to shame. "We are at the gates of the GP2 which is the UEFA Cup and one day we want to be a Formula 1 driver," boasted Francisco Pernia. Hopefully it won't be Fernando Alonso.
Home win. Real Madrid (1st) v Levante (20th) or Liverpool or Spurs or Benfica or Porto or themselves. Levante have caught wind of Real Madrid's cunning plan of bringing in some ringers to play on Sunday night and they are not happy about it at all. To poop the Bernabeu party, the squad are reportedly planning to send eight players to the Spanish capital for the encounter. Seven of them will start the game, but with one immediately coming down with a match-ending injury forcing the suspension of the match. "If another team come, it will be a tight squeeze in the dressing room as we'll be at the Bernabeu until 9pm with our lawyers," warned Luis Manuel Rubiales.
Home win (unless it's Liverpool, then away win).Espanyol (11th) v Almeria (10th)Nokia must have invented a new kind of snooze proof alarm service. That's the only explanation La Liga Loca can think of for having been woken at 6:13am this morning by a car blasting out techno with his occupants literally screaming non-stop for 20 minutes.
Home win. Deportivo (8th) v Villarreal (2nd)Standby for AS and Marca to gorge themselves on stories about beds being too small and doorways needing to be lengthened. It seems that Peter Crouch may well be coming to Villarreal. That's if the Yellow Submarine can afford the ridiculous 22 million euro asking price from Liverpool, that is. And to keep the player known in Spain as 'Daddy Long Legs' company, it looks like Villarreal may be adding another past it ex-Arsenal defender to their roster with the recruitment of Sol Campbell. Sevilla (5th) v Athletic (9th)It seems that Sevilla are starting to get their Andalusian house in order early doors with Marca reporting that Monchi wants Manolo JimÃÂ©nez to stay on in his managerial role. Whether JosÃÂ© Maria del Nido holds water with that crazy plan is an entirely different matter. One thing's for sure and that's the departure of Dani Alves who is on his way to Barcelona over the summer - possibly with Keita as travelling companion.
Home win.You can catch Tim Stannard opining away on Real Madrid TV's Extra Time on Friday at 22.05 and repeated through out the weekend - Sky channel 446.