The Great Weekend Predictions - Round 16

BREAKING NEWS.... BREAKING NEWS....BREAKING NEWS.....

In the Champions League draw on Friday morning, Villarreal and Atlético Madrid have been landed Panathinaikos and Porto respectively... the two club’s Real Madrid were desperate to get.

Real Madrid have got... Liverpool! Ha Ha!! Another short-lived campaign for the Blanco’s is the immediate thought from the blog.

And Lyon take on Barcelona. Three from four of Spain to go through to the next round or can a rebuilt Madrid make it a clean sweep?

Saturday

Real Madrid (6th) vs Valencia (2nd)

While ito’s true that La Liga Loca may be wearing a cuddly sweater of suspicion this morning to battle the frosty temperatures of Spain’s smoggy capital, it still senses something fishy going on at Castle Greyskull.

For once, this doesn’t involve over inflated transfer fees, credit card bills, season ticket waiting lists or postal votes but recent declarations that there would be one or two more signings over the winter transfer window.

The blog is willing to count Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as a proper new player but it was amazed to see those cheeky chappies at the Bernabeu ‘unveiling’ Dani Parejo on Thursday evening - a footballer returning from a loan spell. At QPR.

If that is new signing number one, then Calderón and co are going to have to pull something big out of their hat of hot air, as it looks like Diarra II - as he is referred to in some areas of the Spanish press - is demanding more money than Madrid are willing to pay.

Away from tedious transfer talk, it was business as usual for Madrid with the club’s sadistic special forces training staff welcoming, Castilla player, Daniel Opare to first-team practice for the first time. The Ghanian youngster is now out for 10 weeks after breaking his foot.

And on the quickest of side notes, a message to AS who have Ashley Young on Friday’s front cover. No, he isn’t known as “the new Beckham” and no, he isn’t a fixture in Capello’s England side.

LLL Prediction - Away win

Espanyol (17th) vs Atletico (5th)

Thursday was Atlético Madrid’s big Christmas party, which was the cue for a fantastic Friday photo-fest of fur coat wearing, make-up gun set to ‘whore’ (thank you, the Simpsons) old battle-axes noshing down free ham and booze. And their wives, too.

The shindig was yet another opportunity for, club president, Enrique Cerezo to declare his love for ex-owner Jesus Gil. Especially as members of the now very dead dinosaur’s family were in attendance at the event.

“Nobody would want to be here more than my friend, Jesus Gil,” sighed Cerezo as he reflected on happy days when Gil’s mob would head to Madrid from Marbella armed with envelopes of cash stolen from the local tax payers to fund the capital city club.

“A very entertaining speech,” gushed AS.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Sunday

Mallorca (18th) vs Sevilla (3rd)

Both sides will be a little bit down in the dumps this weekend, having had seven days to forget. Maudlin Mallorca’s plight got that little bit worse, when club president and, no-pot-to-pee-in owner, Vicente Grande stepped down with Juan Antonio Ramonell taking over the Balearic throne.

And the former mayor of Montuiri looks like he ticks all the boxes to be a big cheese in La Liga - shiny suit, slicked-back hair and a history of working in the real estate business.

Sevilla’s problems have been very much on the pitch, with “the best team in the world and the best coach in the world” - according to José Maria del Nido - being booted out of the UEFA Cup after Thursday night’s defeat to Sampdoria.

“Ah, nuts,” grumbled Manolo Jiménez after the game. Probably.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Osasuna (20th) vs Getafe (9th)

Yay! It’s time for part three of “Churchillian promises from Pamplona” with more misplaced declarations of fighting spirit from the Osasuna camp.

And it’s a series that will go on and on and on until the blog grows bored of the riff - highly unlikely, looking at its past history - or the Osasuna players start sobbing during their daily press grillings.

Despite one win in 15, nine points grabbed and just 11 goals scored, there is still fight in the old mountain dog with nut-job in chief Walter Pandiani declaring that “the team is showing character and we are very much alive.”

‘Bravo!’ says the blog, and it’s the same message to Josetxo who opines that “we have to hang on to the fact that the team is still alive in La Liga.”

LLL Prediction - Draw

Deportivo (7th) vs Recreativo (19th)

No matter what result Deportivo get these days, the side always finishes the round of matches in seventh. Over the past four weeks, the gallant Galicians have won three and lost one. But stayed in seventh.

And La Liga Loca expects the same result after Sunday’s horrible rain-soaked 2-0 win over Recreativo.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Numancia (16th) vs Valladolid (8th)

Normally, Valladolid’s Marca corespondent would be spending his days having a good scratch and contemplating the eight-week long public holiday to come. But not this season. On no.

That’s because Valladolid are a booty-kicking rock and roll football machine who have taken 13 points from 15 and given the likes of Sevilla and Real Madrid a thorough sporting spanking.

So what’s the big news from the club according to our hyped-up hack? “Valladolid’s fan clubs will take seven coaches to Soria!” - a headline that even makes La Liga Loca look vaguely in touch with sporting reality.

LLL Prediction - Away win

Racing (13th) vs Málaga (10th)

The second side to fall by the UEFA Cup wayside - a fairly difficult task to achieve, let’s face it - is Racing Santander. After a 765 year wait for their first taste of hot European action, the Cantabricos crash out despite a plucky 3-1 win over Man City.

“Nothing strange happened here,” shrugged Mark Hughes. Racing went out due to a superior goal difference for PSG, and it’s only a matter of days before Michel Platini’s name is dragged into conspiratorial suspicion.

Unfortunately, the knockout means that it will be another millennium before Racing face the likes of FC Snoorgenbord again, so it will only be our alien overlords and Paco Chaparro around to witness it.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Sporting (12th) vs Almería (15th)

One of the most admired aspects of Sweden is its health system - a system of such order and efficiency that is the envy of the world. But that reputation may be in tatters, says thelocal.se

“Two doctors from Karlskrona in southern Sweden have been reprimanded for failing to spot the five centimetre piece chunk of a pencil lodged in the brain of a 14-year-old boy.

Jimmy Pettersson was admitted to Blekinge Hospital in January with part of a pencil sticking out from just above his right eye.

The pencil had penetrated Pettersson’s eyelid after he had tripped and fallen on it earlier in the day while holding the pencil in his hand.”

LLL Prediction - Home win

Villarreal (4th) vs Barcelona (1st)

The Catalan club’s ongoing campaign for opposition players to hand Leo Messi a nice glass of Baileys and read him a bedtime story, rather than tackle him, suffered another set back on Thursday.

Earlier in the week, club overlord Johan Cruyff said that booting the midget maestro was fair game. Then statistics were published proving that Messi was only the fifth most kicked player in the Primera. One of those lucky few who finished above him, Santi Cazorla, has told the Barca player to stop being such a big baby.

“There’s always kicking, it’s ok,” boasted Villarreal’s tough cookie. “Both Senna and I take loads of knocks, but we assume that it’s normal.”

LLL Prediction - Home win

Betis (11th) vs Athletic (14th)

Happy memories for both Betis and Athletic fans for this fixture, as it was last season when poor old visiting goalkeeper Armando was hit by a bottle thrown from the stands.

And La Liga Loca feels that with this recent history, the boozy Christmas holidays and Betis’ legendary security staff, nothing could possibly go wrong on Sunday evening.

Especially with a former Sevilla manager, Joaquín Caparrós, on the bench and ex-player in their Basque ranks.

“I expect a good atmosphere,” says Aitor Ocio hopefully.

LLL Prediction - Home win

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