The goodwill-lacking, fight-stopping weekend Primera Predictions

Saturday

Real Madrid (2nd) v Sporting (15th)

Two things were working against Real Madrid's supposedly cunning plan to play this match on Friday in order to get extra napsies ahead of Tuesday’s visit of Spurs - not that the league said any formal request had come through, mind - the game not being confirmed until Wednesday and a probable lack of goodwill from nasty old Sporting.

In a lesson that everything eventually returns to bite you on the backside one day, there is no little tension between the managers of these two clubs after José Mourinho suggested Sporting weren’t trying in a 1-0 defeat to Barcelona at the Camp Nou earlier this season. Unfortunately there was no response from his counterpart Manuel Preciado after Madrid’s slightly less impressive 5-0 botty-smacking submission on the same ground.

The Sporting boss had originally responded to Mourinho's claims by calling the Madrid manager a scumbag and suggesting he should be sent to the stands to sit among the rowdy locals for their clash in Gijón in November. Tempers flared after Madrid’s 1-0 victory, with accusations of childish finger gesturing and bottle throwing meaning that had a request from Mordor come through for a fixture rejig, it may have been a very terse reply back. With some added swear words if the potty-mouthed Preciado was delivering it himself.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Getafe (13th) v Valencia (4th)

With Miguel Brito having only just returned to training after a spell on the naughty step for yet more practice-dodging, disco-dancing hijinks, it was the turn of Vicente to receive a slap on the wrist and a reported €6,000 fine from Unai Emery, this time for a night-spot altercation.

The permanently-crocked winger was leaving a club in the early hours of Saturday morning when it was suggested by a fellow disco patron that he was not much cop as a player these days. A friend of Vicente reportedly weighed in on his behalf and unleashed fists of fury, although the Valencia man has claimed that his only role in the kerfuffle was attempting to stop the scrap. To Vicente’s credit, he managed to be on time for training some five hours later, something that Miguel rarely manages after a big night out.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Villarreal (3rd) v Barcelona (1st)

You know when the Madridista press starts moralising and finger-wagging about the behaviour of representatives of other sides - considering what José Mourinho gets up to on a regular basis - that a few chuckles are to be had.

This is what is happening on Friday with both Marca and AS up in arms over Barcelona president, Sandro Rosell, predicting that Pep’s Dream Boys would beat Madrid 5-0 in the cup final “to keep up the habit”.

“Humiliating” was the wounded response from AS at such meanie-head comments from Barça’s big wig. “If someone knows how to get something out of a game in these situations, it’s Mourinho who will paper the dressing room with these words that don’t seem appropriate for a president who has been so prudent up to now”.

If LLL’s timing is correct then Mourinho is about one hour away from speaking in Friday’s pre-Sporting press conference when he will no doubt come out with his own inappropriate response to these inappropriate comments...

LLL Prediction - Away win

Sunday

Real Sociedad (12th) v Hércules (20th)

Rather a lot has happened in the world of Hércules in the past couple of weeks. The club sacked Esteban Vigo, the manager who took them up and was charged with keeping the Alicante side in the top-flight with players who went unpaid, no permanent training facilities and without winter transfer reinforcements.

After an awful lot coaches were linked with the role, Hércules plumped for former Deportivo and Valencia player Miroslav Djukic on a nine match contract, although he has not yet been given a license to sit on the bench due to Hércules’ debts with former players.

The Serbian’s first trick to keep his new side up has been the usual routine of extra training sessions, harsher discipline and sending Royston Drenthe home on Tuesday after the Dutchman turned up to practice 20 minutes late. “Out of the seven sessions I’ve had here,” complained the former Serbia U-21 boss, “Drenthe has been late for four”.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Espanyol (5th) v Racing Santander (14th)

Despite stories of players remaining unpaid at Racing from the former regime and broken promises over when the debts will be paid, the club’s colourful new owner, Ali Syed, has kept a very low profile indeed over the past few weeks. Ever since the publication of stories in Spain concerning allegations of fraud against him. Funny that.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Levante (10th) v Málaga (18th)

A couple of months ago Levante’s survival hopes were as slim as a rump steak's in Maniche’s fridge - but that was before a five man defence, frenzied midfield and the goals of Felipe Caicedo dragged the Valencia club into mid-table and left them probably needing just two more victories from their last nine games.

The slight hitch this weekend is that Caicedo is out of action with the on-loan Manchester City man having injured himself in the victory against Deportivo with a muscle tear. This is why the club have sent the forward to a clinic for oxygen therapy - probably costing the last few pennies Levante had to pay the gas bill till the end of the season - in a bid to get Caicedo back in time for Sunday’s visit of Málaga, a fine chance to pick up one of those much-needed wins.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Deportivo (16th) v Mallorca (9th)

You think the small matter of boring the world to tears with goalless draws and eight man defences, not to mention relegation is going to bother Deportivo boss, Miguel Angel Lotina? You do? Well, think again, amigo, as you’re wrong, wrong wrong.

That’s because Lotina is “a manager who is like a sponge, he learns from tough situations,” according to his coach who also doubles as a psychotherapist, Joaquín Dosil. LLL would suggest that he has certainly learned a lot this season, then.

LLL Prediction - Draw (of the goalless variety)

Sevilla (7th) v Zaragoza (17th)

Joaquín Caparrós is still the name being touted to take over from Gregorio Manzano at the end of the season, despite a revival from Sevilla that sees the Andalusian side with just one defeat in six and about to pounce on the failing and flailing Espanyol just one point above them. However, club president, José María Del Nido, is keeping mum and seeing where Sevilla end up in May. “Until the league is over, we’re not going to say anything,” claimed the top Señor of the Sánchez Pizjuán.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Osasuna (11th) v Atlético Madrid (8th)

Need a Friday giggle to help kick off the weekend? Then how about the comments from Atleti captain, Antonio López, who claims that his infamously flimsy club's visit to a side who have only been beaten once at home in the league this season is a match where “we have to show the effort and spirit Atlético Madrid has always had out on the field. We have to go for the three points. We can’t fail.”

LLL Prediction - Home win

Monday

Almería (19th) v Athletic Bilbao (6th)

Scheduling Almería against Athletic Bilbao on a Monday night at the same time as the season-opening, Stockholm-based hate-fest that is Djurgården against AIK? What was the LFP thinking? Only one game to be watching on Monday night. And it isn’t in Spain.

LLL Prediction - Home win

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