SaturdayOsasuna (14th) v Recreativo (18th)It was heart-warming to see Osasuna resort to their default setting, on Sunday, against Getafe. And that's booting the opposition about.
They did it last season when they ended up with seven men on the pitch on one particularly memorable occasion at the CalderÃÂ³n - the most fun La Liga Loca has had in that stadium since Enrique Cerezo and Javier Aguirre went out on the centre circle and did a version of "Greased Lightning". Osasuna's problems, this year, have been the goal-void offered by their strikers. Javier 'the mullet' Portillo has reverted to terrible type, whilst Walter 'The Rifle' Pandiani has fired more blanks than Pat Butcher's ex-hubbie in EastEnders. Home win. Mallorca (9th) v Real Madrid (1st)A whopping operating surplus announced by the club, on Thursday - "Florentino Perez also made a profit", reminds human hand-puppet, Roberto Gomez - has meant that the folks at Castle Greyskull have some spare cash to splash.And - according to Marca, so it must be true - CalderÃÂ³n and co are in the hunt for a MegaCrack - which is the title of a magazine La Liga Loca stumbled upon in Amsterdam, once. But that's a whole different story. The MegaCrack of a less graphic kind in CalderÃÂ³n's cross hairs is Sergio AgÃÂ¼ero. Good luck with that, RamÃÂ³n. One, now sedated, half of La Liga Loca will be happy that Real Madrid are playing away from their stadium-announcer infested home and heading to the Balearics, this weekend. But they will lose, despite playing a side with as much ambition as a five-a-side team of stoners. "To talk about the Champions or UEFA seems crazy", gasped left back, Fernando Navarro, this week. For readers in Spain, the match is due to be televised on La Sexta. Or Telecinco. Or both. Or neither. Home win.SundayAtlÃÂ©tico Madrid (4th) v AlmerÃÂa (8th)Whilst the rojiblanco's have entertained themselves, this week, with a hair pulling cat fight between JosÃÂ© Antonio Reyes - a man with as much chance of playing for AtlÃÂ©tico, on Sunday, as Vladimir Putin - AlmerÃÂa have been trying to pin down their manager, Unai Emery, to a new deal.
And it looks like they may be successful.
"My family is settled here, my colleagues are amazing. It's all perfectly balanced", he cooed this week. Shortly before Valencia arrived on his doorstop with a dumper truck filled with cash and a tipsy Cameron Diaz. Home win. Levante (20th) v Valladolid (16th) Those gag-loving Swedish funsters joined in the April Fools Day antics with this gem."The nearly snow-less winters have led the owners of Skistar to respond by encasing the Hammarbybacken ski hill in Stockholm in glass.The massive project will cost 2.4 billion ($400 million) and is backed by investors which include the Skistar company Skiing April Ltd."
Home win. Zaragoza (17th) v Betis (13th)La Liga Loca is considering a trip to Zaragoza this weekend. Not to see the game, mind, but to visit the stadium, tut loudly and shake its head for three hours.Why Zaragoza are down in the relegation zone is anyone's guess, but one man who is definitely not up to the task of getting them out of it is Roberto "why, oh why, oh why did I walk out on Villarreal" Ayala. "I don't deserve to play, looking at my performances", confessed the man whose forehead now has a dent in it due to amount of times it has been slapped. This week's winner of 'Zaragoza Idol', Manolo Villanova, has taken stern managerial action to stop the rot by cooking his entire squad a meal when having them chased by armour-plated rhinos may have been a better option. The suggestion for this cunning plan was made by captain, Luis Cuatero - a man who has run out of Pizza Hut tokens, by the looks of it. Home win. Or by gum, there'll be some trouble. Athletic Bilbao (10th) v Espanyol (7th)The poor and pitiable patrons of the cafÃÂ© where La Liga Loca often rants and raves had the misfortune of being sprayed by a mouthful of Early Grey tea, a couple of weeks ago. That was when the blog spotted that Athletic Bilbao were in eighth (eighth!) place in the league. A draw against Recre, last weekend, has dropped them to a more reasonable 10th. But, still!And a Sunday visit of a side whose form is plummeting faster than a Spaniard's house value could see some cafÃÂ© goers getting a repeat performance, come Monday morning. Home win.Racing Santander (5th) v Deportivo (15th)Sergio Ramos and My Chemical Romance! Never trust anything called Olaf Prilo. Draw. Murcia (19th) v Valencia (11th)If there's one man who refuses to trot the usual old guff of "all opponents are hard" and "it will be tough, on Sunday" it's Valencia's headline-on-legs, Ivan Helguera. A few weeks ago, the centre back with the permanent look of panic opined that Real Madrid was run by people who knew as much about football as Guti about spelling.And he was back raising a rumpus, on Thursday, when he articulated the fermenting feelings of hatred from his team-mates towards Ronald Koeman, who has been happily slating his under performing players in the media. "It's a lack of respect", complained Helguera on his boss' barbs, "it's not fair that he speaks badly about us when we lose". Which is about every week, these days. Home win. Sevilla (6th) v Villarreal (2nd)Daddy is back at the SÃÂ¡nchez PijzuÃÂ¡n with Monchi returning from his scouting mission to South America. And the first thing he did was to give assurances over the rather uncertain future of bug-eyed boss Manolo JimÃÂ©nez, a man trying to avoid a third defeat in a row, on Sunday night. "My aim is for him to be the manager, next season", announced the James Nesbitt look-a-like. "No one has been in contact with Marcelino or his representatives", he declared, carefully avoiding the all important word, 'yet'. Barcelona (3rd) v Getafe (12th)It's rare that La Liga Loca whoops loudly and claps his hands like a seal when watching television in Spain. Except perhaps when Ms Casillas - Spain's answer to Jeremy Beadle - pops up for the latest 32 minutes of adverts jammed in the middle of films finally finishes. But it happened on Thursday night when Cosmin Contra struck in the last few minutes of their tie against Bayern Munich - a match where pretty much everyone in Spain was cheering them on. Even Tomas Roncero. "Tonight I will be unfaithful to my one true love, Real Madrid", confessed Tomas before the game, causing his newspaper-fetching, breakfast-cooking wife to break down in tears. Again. Much has been made of Franz Beckenbauer's comments at the time of the draw that he didn't know much about Getafe, which caused a bit of a stir in Spain. But, as one German writer pointed out, "how much does Angel Torres know about Wolfsburg?""The Kaiser knows them now!" screamed AS in their headline on Friday. The man in the middle of the maelstrom preferred to sweet talk his way out of the controversy. And quite successfully, too. "I'm going to call Bernd Schuster, as I heard the other day that he has a new team", he joked. You can catch Tim Stannard right here, right now on Real Madrid's TV's Extra Time - broadcast on channel 446, Sky Digital.