SaturdayMallorca (9th) vs Villarreal (5th)
If the rumours swirling around the Spanish press are to believed, then Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini will be strapping himself into the Castle Greyskull ejector seat next week before being blasted into orbit some time in November. But the wise and wizard-like Chilean coach - who looks a little like something living on Fraggle Rock but with Jedi powers - claims to know nothing about such trivial transfer talk.
Ã¢ÂÂI know nothing,Ã¢ÂÂ confirmed Pellegrini. ASÃ¢ÂÂ clearly insane or quite sozzled Villarreal correspondent compares the Real Madrid-centred stories to receiving a telephone call from a friend telling you that Brad Pitt is getting married.
Ã¢ÂÂI would take good care of a very angry husband,Ã¢ÂÂ warned the very random Javier Mata to no-one in particular. LLL Prediction - Home win
Deportivo (7th) vs Barcelona (1st)
El Pais reports the city-centre carnage in the Catalan capital from Wednesday nightÃ¢ÂÂs fiesta of tomfoolery as 199 arrests, 238 injuries and 100,000 euro in damages.
Ã¢ÂÂLess than 2006,Ã¢ÂÂ chirped a local council official looking back to the last time Barcelona won the Champions League. Perhaps the best part of such behaviour - all deplorable of course - is the return of the word Ã¢ÂÂantidisturbiosÃ¢ÂÂ or 'riot police' to the blog.
One of those who got on the wrong side of their big sticks, write El Pais, was a 55-year-old gentleman who decided to end the evening off by lobbing metal balls at the local constabulary. In perhaps the funniest piece of writing La Liga Loca has read all season, MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs editorial on Friday is hopping mad at the 300 Barcelona fans who went to MadridÃ¢ÂÂs centre of celebration, the Cibeles fountain, to lark about in the water and sing songs. Ã¢ÂÂThe insults to the goddess, Guti and Real Madrid are nothing more than a lack of respect to one of the symbols of Madridismo,Ã¢ÂÂ fumed the po-faced paper.
Ã¢ÂÂThey accused me of doing what with a what?Ã¢ÂÂ gasped Guti, the next day. LLL Prediction - Away winAtlÃÂ©tico Madrid (4th) vs AlmerÃÂa (10th)Atleti only need a piddling point to secure a knockout in the Champions League qualification stages in the summer, so La Liga Loca asked its rojiblanco insider if... ahem... the club would be... ahem.... making quite sure that at least the draw would be secured. Ã¢ÂÂNot a chance,Ã¢ÂÂ replied the indignant insider noting that AlmerÃÂa coach Hugo SÃÂ¡nchez would quite enjoy messing up AtlÃÂ©ticoÃ¢ÂÂs big night. Ã¢ÂÂI wonÃ¢ÂÂt be helping anyone,Ã¢ÂÂ hollered Hugo on the suggestion that the infamous suitcases would be arriving at his club from VillarrealÃ¢ÂÂs direction, the other team in the running for a fourth-placed finish. LLL Prediction - Home winEasyValencia (6th) vs Athletic Bilbao (13th)While the hard-up board of Valencia were scrabbling around the local dumpsters for their dinners, AS is reporting that a bean-counter at the club has worked out that unless the land of the old Mestalla is sold by the June 8, payments to all the institutionÃ¢ÂÂs creditors will be suspended and proceedings for SpainÃ¢ÂÂs equivalent of administration will begin. Meanwhile, another arm of the club has approached a gambling company and asked them to stop taking bets on where David Villa will be playing next season.
Mainly because the enterprise in question, Unibet, is one of the clubÃ¢ÂÂs sponsors. LLL Prediction - Home win
"Lies, it's all lies I say..."
Numancia (19th) vs Sevilla (3rd)It was confirmed this week that Sevilla manager Manolo JimÃÂ©nez will be spending another season on the Andalusian bench.
Another year of somewhat limp football for the fans but endless speculation on his immediate future from the likes of La Liga Loca.Ã¢ÂÂWe havenÃ¢ÂÂt renewed Manolo JimÃÂ©nez,Ã¢ÂÂ announced the not-exactly-endorsing-his-coach club president JosÃÂ© MarÃÂa del Nido, Ã¢ÂÂbut he has renewed himself.Ã¢ÂÂLLL Prediction - Away winEspanyol (12th) vs MÃÂ¡laga (8th)While Sevilla may have their managerial business sorted for the season, MÃÂ¡laga are still haggling over the future of their coach Antonio Tapia. It appears that talks remain at an impasse with the boss of the Southern side fancying a spell in the Premier League, rather than a relegation scrap in Spain next season with the club having sold all its brightest stars. Meanwhile, Espanyol fans have a transfer story to rival any 'Ribery to the Camp Nou' nonsense being drummed up down the hill, with the rumour that Norwich City superstar Mark Fotheringham will be joining Steve Finnan on the Perico sidelines next season.
Watch those season tickets fly out of the club shop over the summer!LLL Prediction - Home winOsasuna (18th) vs Real Madrid (2nd)On Thursday evening, Florentino PÃÂ©rez unveiled his board of directors set to take over the running of Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs affairs next week.
And replacing 15 greying old duffers in suits are 15 brand new greying old duffers in suits.
ItÃ¢ÂÂs a portly posse without a single female face or anyone who appears to be under the age of 45. And itÃ¢ÂÂs a group whoÃ¢ÂÂve definitely had more hot dinners than youÃ¢ÂÂve had hot dinners. In a busy day for MadridÃ¢ÂÂs new Dear Leader, Florentino popped into the office of his campaign HQ - sometimes known as Marca - where Ã¢ÂÂhe came, he saw and he conquered,Ã¢ÂÂ according to the paper.
During his visit, PÃÂ©rez was probed thoroughly by MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs bigwigs and was asked seven questions on whether he thought his possible predecessor, RamÃÂ³n CalderÃÂ³n, was a scoundrel or merely a cad. One of the topics in a fairly fluffy piece that did raise the interests of La Liga Loca was the idea that the Santiago Bernabeu stadium would take on a sponsor some time soon.
Ã¢ÂÂWe canÃ¢ÂÂt rule it out if a brand comes along that works for Real Madrid and produces income,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted PÃÂ©rez. And this has inspired FourFourTwo to dig deep into its pockets with a competition for you to win a yearÃ¢ÂÂs subscription to the magazine by suggesting the best brand possible for the clubÃ¢ÂÂs stadium.
Ã¢ÂÂThe Slumberland Santiago Bernabeu - for the quietest of nightsÃ¢ÂÂ is just one not-that-good example. Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of Thursday June 4. The most inspired entry will win a year of football fun from the greatest magazine in the world (usual FFT terms and conditions apply folks).
LLL Prediction - Home win
Over to you folks...
Racing (11th) vs Getafe (15th)
In a country where family feuds can carry over for generations, itÃ¢ÂÂs no surprise that the heckles are still high from last season and a testy Copa del Rey clash between these two teams. In a second-leg semi final affair, Getafe were accused of being big old cheats for continuing to play on - and score - after a Racing player had gone to ground.
It was a goal that saw Getafe safely through to a final where they were eventually battered by Valencia. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs crazy to talk about what happened last year,Ã¢ÂÂ says Getafe keeper of the week Oscar Ustari.La Liga Loca feels that this opportunity for perfect payback will be enough to bring nothing-to-play-for Racing the win over Getafe. And relegation for the Coliseum club according to the blogÃ¢ÂÂs calculations! Oh no!LLL Prediction - Home winSporting (17th) vs Recreativo (20th)Recreativo club president Francisco Mendoza reacted in the traditional way to a tough time for his team by firing someone sharpish to cover his own relegated posterior. Not wishing to sack his second manager of the season, Mendoza picked sporting director Oscar Arias as the man to carry the clubÃ¢ÂÂs can for a somewhat disappointing end to the season.Taking over the still warm seat is Alfonso Serrano, who has already announced that the non-sacking of the coach was merely a postponement of the inevitable. Ã¢ÂÂIt has to be someone who knows the division, this is vital,Ã¢ÂÂ says Serrano on his choice for new manager. LLL Prediction - Home win Betis (16th) vs Valladolid (14th)And so the worst team in Spain off the pitch, faces the worst team in Spain on it.
Valladolid have only picked up three points from 30, while Betis have fans who support their players by offering up death-threats, abuse and egg-throwing. But this wonÃ¢ÂÂt stop the Betis players giving everything for the cause on Sunday evening as they seek a win and survival. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs what green-shirted striker Ricardo Oliveira said anyway before wandering off with his mobile. Ã¢ÂÂWe are playing for our pride, for our lives, for our... AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid? Forlan going? How much?.... Really?Ã¢ÂÂLLL Prediction - Home win