Valladolid (16th) vs Real Madrid (4th)The current 'Schuster out!' head-for-the-hills, scapegoat hunt is extremely entertaining fare. But itÃ¢ÂÂs a mere Ã¢ÂÂDisaster MovieÃ¢ÂÂ sized lump of fun compared to the lunacy that will be served up during Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs 2010 presidential elections. As things stand today - something that Ruud Van Nistelrooy canÃ¢ÂÂt do - there is only one confirmed runner for this orgy of oligarchs... Juan Villalonga, a gentlemen who has tried and failed to take over both Liverpool and, more recently, Valencia. And someone who resigned as Chief Executive of Telefonica after accusations of insider trading. The cry-baby bottler, Florentino Perez is said to fancy another spell in Castle Greyskull and its quite possible that RamÃÂ³n CalderÃÂ³n will put himself up for re-election, if he hasnÃ¢ÂÂt lost his tiny mind over the next two years.But, according to press rumours in Spain, these stuffed suits could well be joined in the chase by an even bigger fish... former Spanish president, JosÃÂ© Maria Aznar. In a move that can only make the club even more cuddlier and loveable, the Bernabeu could be ruled over by a moustachioed meddler who a) dragged Spain into an immensely unpopular war in Iraq, b) blamed ETA for the Madrid bombings to lose the elections, c) claims that there is nothing wrong with a cheeky drink before driving and it was not for the government to tell people what to do and, more recently, d) announced that global warming was a myth. LLL Prediction - Away win Valencia (3rd) vs Sporting (14th)For David Villa and Juan Mata, ValenciaÃ¢ÂÂs clash with Sporting is very, very personal. In VillaÃ¢ÂÂs simple world, itÃ¢ÂÂs a time to wipe away a tear and take a stroll down memory lane as he faces his former team - a team he said he wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt mind retiring at. But for Juan Mata, itÃ¢ÂÂs the complete opposite. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂve already spoken to Villa and he told me that if he scores, then he wonÃ¢ÂÂt celebrate,Ã¢ÂÂ said the striker. Ã¢ÂÂBut me, I definitely will because IÃ¢ÂÂm a former Oviedo player,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted Mata as he poured some cider from a great, great height. LLL Prediction - Home winSundayGetafe (8th) vs Sevilla (5th)This week, the shy and retiring JosÃÂ© Maria del Nido launched the sale of his new biography, Ã¢ÂÂSevilla, si o si.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂIf being a Sevillista was a crime, I would be condemned to prison forever,Ã¢ÂÂ joked the potty president. Unfortunately for del Nido, the false invoicing of Marbella town council for 6.7 million euro between 1999 and 2003 for legal services is a crime - something that the pint-sized Premier is being investigated for. LLL Prediction - Home win MÃÂ¡laga (9th) vs Villarreal (2nd)So, was anyone else left with the impression that Villarreal just werenÃ¢ÂÂt trying in the Copa del Rey?
Not that they can blamed for this, considering the side will be in prime Primera position to take advantage of the imminent Real Madrid implosion and a self-satisfied Barcelona disappearing up their own behinds. Having been spanked 5-0 by Poli Ejido in the first round of the cup, the Yellow Submarine barely moved into cruising speed with a 1-1 draw in the second leg. Still, manager Manuel Pellegrini made a good effort in convincing everyone that he did give two hoots about the competition: Ã¢ÂÂFor me, a miracle is to get back 12 goals, not five,Ã¢ÂÂ said the Chilean before the half-hearted attempt at a comeback. LLL Prediction - Away winAlmerÃÂa (13th) vs Mallorca (11th)Like a blubbing bride at the alter, or La Liga Loca on any number of blind dates over the years, Mallorca have been left shamed and abandoned. Over the past few months it seemed as if English pipe-tycoon, Paul Ã¢ÂÂThe PlumberÃ¢ÂÂ Davidson was going to splash out 38 million euro to buy out the completely skint Vicente GrandeÃ¢ÂÂs share in the Balearic club. But then there was a 10-day delay in the purchase. And now Davidson has asked for another 15 days to find the funds. But the Mallorca president says the deal is off, after asking for a 10% deposit on the buyout - a request that has not been fulfilled. LLL Prediction - DrawAtlÃÂ©tico Madrid (7th) vs Deportivo (6th... 6th!!!!!)La Liga Loca really doesnÃ¢ÂÂt think it can stand this anymore. No, not another commentary from La Sexta but a Ã¢ÂÂJavier Aguirre has just two matches / two months / a hundred years to save his jobÃ¢ÂÂ story in Marca and AS. For pityÃ¢ÂÂs sake AtlÃÂ©tico, if you are going to fire him - something youÃ¢ÂÂve been itching to do for what seems like decades now - then do it. Be a man. The blog is begging you.If the reports are true and you are so financially feckless that you cannot afford to do it, then FourFourTwo will pay for it (maybe). Anything, to stop another series of sacking stories. LLL Prediction - Home winEspanyol (12th) vs Numancia (18th)Aside from Paul from Barcelona who is no doubt losing sleep at the thought of this edge of the seat, classic clash, the most excited person at the Montjuic on Sunday will be EspanyolÃ¢ÂÂs Gregory Beranger.The reason for the defenderÃ¢ÂÂs undisguised delight is that he will be facing his former club Numancia. Ã¢ÂÂIf I score, IÃ¢ÂÂll do 50 laps of the Montjuic in celebration. Nobody is going to stop me.Ã¢ÂÂ So, in the unlikely event of Greg scoring a goal, the Frenchman will spend the rest of the encounter running 20 kilometres. La Liga Loca knows what it is praying for on Sunday. LLL Prediction - Home winBetis (15th) vs Racing (10th)Seeing that one of these sides will probably be teetering on the edge of the relegation zone for much of the season, itÃ¢ÂÂs a good time for a cheeky peek into the seedy world of the Segunda.This week, El Pais published a fine piece looking at the dark, financial underbelly of two recent Primera performers - and did not like what it found growing there. Administrators are claiming that Celta VigoÃ¢ÂÂs books were cooked in the 2002/03 and 2005/06 seasons and did not reflect the dire pecuniary position of a club reportedly in 68.6 million euro of debt. But this is nothing compared to what investigators discovered at Real Sociedad, a side that needs to sell players to survive.
Administrators have reported a complete Ã¢ÂÂlack of rigour in the management of the club,Ã¢ÂÂ claiming that accounts were falsified by 20 million euro under the administration of JosÃÂ© Luis AstiazarÃÂ¡n during 2004-06 to make things look a little bit rosier.The good news is that the former head honcho is no longer at the club. The bad news is that he is the current president of the Spanish League. LLL Prediction - Home win Athletic Bilbao (19th) vs Osasuna (20th)An awful lot has happened in the world in the time between OsasunaÃ¢ÂÂs last league goal back in October and yesterdayÃ¢ÂÂs Copa del Rey effort. The United States chose a new president, the worldÃ¢ÂÂs finances melted down that little bit more and several civil wars were started. ItÃ¢ÂÂs likely that several Ice Ages may pass before the next one comes along. LLL Prediction - Home winRecreativo (17th) vs Barcelona (1st)Ã¢ÂÂ...so I was at the Camp Nou and missed the first goal and asked the bloke next to me who got it. Ã¢ÂÂEXCUSE ME!!!!! (excuse me... excuse me....excu...).Ã¢ÂÂ As Wayne Rooney once discovered, the old ones really are the best. Barcelona may be playing some of the prettiest football around, but there is no one there to see it, with attendances falling faster than Diego Capel being brushed by a breeze. Just 13 people turned up on Wednesday night to watch BarÃÂ§aÃ¢ÂÂs 1-0 battering of Benidorm, a figure down on the 57 hardy souls who turned up to watch the vanquishing of Valladolid last weekend. Despite offering free tickets for members, Catalan Karaoke at half-time and the chance to be hit in the face by one of Thierry HenryÃ¢ÂÂs shots, people continue to stay away from the Camp Nou in their droves, despite never having had it so good. LLL Prediction - Away win