The Great Weekend Predictions - Round 22

SaturdayAlmería (8th) v Real Madrid (1st)The last eighteen months have been tough ones forRamón Calderón. Being detained in New York having beenmistaken for a narco-trafficker and using acountrywide Jedi mind trick by claiming never to havewanted Kaká, have taken its toll on the shy andretiring Real Madrid president.And that's why Calderón wants to reduce that tiresometrip between his office to the golf course fromseveral kilometres to none, say 'Marca'.The paper has revealed plans by the club to add an18,000 seater sports pavilion, a luxury super hotel, arace track (of course) and a golf course to theirtraining complex so Calderón can help improve hiscurrent handicap of 15.4.And not one red cent of the club's money will be usedto fund this vanity project, according to the paper -"Ramón Calderón is looking for companies who can bringin the necessary funding."Expect Alfredo di Stefano being moved to the cheapseats from the presidential balcony to make room for aseries of slicked-hair shifty hotshots, over the nextfew months. Draw.Betis (14th) v Deportivo (19th)Such is the desperation in Spain to broadcast thisrelegation thriller between two of the mosttantalising teams on the planet, that not one but twotv channels will be broadcasting this match live.But for those in Spain looking forward to a break fromAndrés Montes' incessant gibberings on 'La Sexta'should not get their hopes up too high, as the lasttime that 'Telecinco' pirated a match, their cameraswere positioned somewhere in orbit and could not seethe corner flags.Just another normal day in the never-ending tv wars.Home win.SundayZaragoza (12th) v Athletic Bilbao (16th)With the Spanish economy about to collapse faster thanJesus Navas in the penalty area, this perilouspecuniary predicament has been reflected in apositively flaccid transfer market with only 29.3million euros worth of deals being struck. Valenciawere responsible for a large chunk of that with EverBanega coming to Spain in more ways than one.One move that looked a dead cert to take place, butdidn't, was Zaragoza's prince of punks, Andrésd'Alessandro swanning off back to Argentina. Instead,the misfit midfielder will be sulking and swearing atLa Romareda for a few more weeks, at least, with theArgentine transfer market being open until 16thFebruary. Home win.Levante (20th) v Racing Santander (6th)Normally on a Friday, this section is set aside forthe smallest of snippets about the latest white flagwaving footballer to leave Levante. But today, in themost ironic of ironies, it's about someone staying.It seems that not content with appointing Dennis wiseas executive director, Newcastle were on the brink ofsigning Levante's Alvaro Maior, a central defender inone of the worst back fours on earth, before thinkingbetter of it."We received an e-mail from Newcastle at 6pm (onTuesday) and we accepted the offer,” president JulioRomero complained.“It seems that they changed their mind since then.They forgot to tell us about it," continued Romero onthe loss of three million euros which might havehelped keep the bailiffs from Mustapha Riga's door forthe next few months.Atlético Madrid (4th) v Murcia (17th)For football fans all over the world, the worstpossible news was announced on Monday. Pablo Garcia,the Spanish football-hating hardman of Murcia, wouldno longer be talking to the press, as every time hedoes it results in a fine, suspension or a UnitedNations resolution."I'm not going to speak till the end of the season,"declared Garcia after last Sunday's defeat at thehands of Levante. "Murcia lost because of the ref whoreally ********* on us, like they have been doing inother grounds."Garcia's mood was probably not improved later in theweek, when it was announced that defender, AlvaroMejía, was being handed a three match ban for pickingup two yellow cards in the defeat and unleashing astream of abuse at the man in the middle. Some chillpills needed, 'La Liga Loca' thinks. Home win.Villarreal (3rd) v Mallorca (13th)Both sides should be forced to play Sunday's gamewearing big pointy dunce caps as both sides werekicked out of the Copa del Rey, this week, thusmissing out on all the fun of the action-packedcompetition, which restarts at the end of month.Villarreal won't be there to hand out their thirdtonking of the year to Valencia, who face Barcelona,instead, whilst Getafe face Racing Santander, ensuringthat the Catalan club look set to win something, thisseason. Home win.Valladolid (9th) v Valencia (11th)Ronald Koeman's cunning plan of losing games but stillwinning, Copa del Rey style, is not working out sowell in the league. Valencia are now nine matcheswithout a victory with just two goals scored. And thatrecord is unlikely to be improved upon, on Sunday, inwhat will be a bad day for Valencia fans but a goodone for those of us looking to see whether Joaquín isfinally going to blub like a girl, in the middle of amatch. Home win.Recreativo (18th) v Sevilla (7th)Whilst channel surfing in idyllic idolness on Thursdaynight, 'La Liga Loca' came across a familiar face on'Cuatro' - but not in a good way. Who was that idiotactor thinking that mumbling, having stubble andthreatening to bust caps in people's asses in 'Cuentaatrás' makes him a tough, grizzled cop on the edge?Why it was Dani Martin lead singer with Green Day ripoff band, 'El Canto del Loco' - a man not content withtrying to ruin all music, but doing the same for tv,too. Away win.Barcelona (2nd) v Osasuna (15th)Apparently bulls can't see colour and focus only onmovement, so 'La Liga Loca's' metaphor of a trundlingRonaldinho being a red flag to Osasuna's team offilthy footballers doesn't quite work.If FIFA regulations won't so pernickety, Messi shouldbe able to run out onto the Camp Nou turf in a suit ofarmour, on Sunday, as that's the only thing that canprotect him against a team who are looking to get outof relegation trouble the only way they now how. Bythumping. Home win.Getafe (10th) v Espanyol (5th)The absence of Tamudo with a broken arm wasn't enoughto persuade Luis Aragones to recall Raul to thenational side - an action that 'AS' are almostcertainly going to see as some kind of declaration ofwar.To show how sensitive a subject, the 'R-word' is tothe Spanish manager, a question  on a midweek radioshow as to the real reason why the Aragones was notrecalling the Real Madrid captain was met by Spain'ssupremo completely losing the plot."You have lied all your life!" said a livid Luis tothe interviewer who had suggested that he was beingeconomical with the truth during the grilling. "Youare a coward and liar, a coward and liar, a coward andliar, a coward and liar." Quite. Home win.

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