Getafe (12th) v Espanyol (5th) Ã¢ÂÂ 18.00 (local time) Whilst Rayo are busy raising ticket prices, across town Getafe are dropping them to get more than a handful of fans into the Coliseum for SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs Espanyol clash. Last week, LLL reported that tickets were being given away to supporters who spend more than Ã¢ÂÂ¬40 in the club shop, although the blog doubts there's anything in the club kiosk worth paying more than Ã¢ÂÂ¬40 for. A night out with Dani GÃÂ¼iza, perhaps.
AS report that Getafe are going a step further for the weekendÃ¢ÂÂs clash by dropping the price for the cheapest ticket to Ã¢ÂÂ¬30, prompting speculation as to why that isnÃ¢ÂÂt the usual price anyway, considering Getafe matches have hardly been thrilling affairs of late.LLL Prediction Ã¢ÂÂ Home win
Real Madrid (1st) v Racing Santander (18th) Ã¢ÂÂ 20.00This week, Marca were able to veer away from their 10-point-lead-inspired "Real Madrid / Mourinho / Ronaldo is blooming fantastic" editorial theme to trumpet the publication of the paperÃ¢ÂÂs 25,000th edition Ã¢ÂÂ a fine achievement. But this got the egg-heads at the ever-excellent Spanish sports media watchers La Libreta de Van Gaal a little suspicious.
La Libreta managed to dig out the front cover of MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs 20,000th edition from November 1st 2003. So according to MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs maths, they've published 5,000 editions in around 3,000 days Ã¢ÂÂ prolific, to say the least. LLL Prediction Ã¢ÂÂ Home win
Sevilla (13th) v Osasuna (8th) Ã¢ÂÂ 22.00YouÃ¢ÂÂd have thought that those footballing folks at Sevilla would be far too busy bedding in new manager MÃÂchel while desperately spinning the message to fans that the former Getafe coach is the right man for the job and not an evil Madridista at heart.
But it appears that there was still time to have a pop at the French, currently Spain's bad guys after a satirical puppet show made unsubtle suggestions that all of SpainÃ¢ÂÂs greatest sporting triumphs stemmed from some naughty medicinal help.
The likes of Marca and AS and even the Spanish government registered their displeasure Ã¢ÂÂ and for MÃÂchel's debut at Real Sociedad, Sevilla sent the team out wearing shirts emblazoned with the logo Ã¢ÂÂlibertÃÂ©, egalitÃÂ©, superiorityÃ¢ÂÂ.
Technically, that kind of naughtiness is very much against FIFA regulations and is punishable if the referee reports it Ã¢ÂÂ but the man in the middle failed to take note, for some reason. LLL Prediction Ã¢ÂÂ Home win
Granada (17th) v Real Sociedad (11th) Ã¢ÂÂ 12.00Last season, there was an awful lot of talk about the fine performances of Xabi Prieto, la RealÃ¢ÂÂs impressive playmaker. Indeed there was even Ã¢ÂÂSpanish internationalÃ¢ÂÂ talk wafting in the wind at one point. This year, Prieto has been considerably quieter Ã¢ÂÂ but the midfielder bucked up his tactical ideas at last during MondayÃ¢ÂÂs 2-0 win over Sevilla. Ã¢ÂÂIt was my best performance, but it wasnÃ¢ÂÂt hard to beat the games IÃ¢ÂÂve played up to now,Ã¢ÂÂ he said, with commendable honesty. LLL Prediction Ã¢ÂÂ Home win
Athletic Bilbao (6th) v MÃÂ¡laga (7th) Ã¢ÂÂ 16.00There were helpful graphics appearing in Thursday's sports papers informing readers of how Athletic would be handle the freezing temperatures of Moscow in their Europa League tie with Lokomotiv; these ingenious measures included wearing things called gloves to keep their Basque handies warm. In the end, it wasnÃ¢ÂÂt enough, with the Ruskies taking a 2-1 lead back to Bilbao for the second leg.
AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid and Valencia kept the Spanish end up, as it were: the Rojiblancos gave Johnny Italian something to think about with a 3-1 win at Lazio, while Unai EmeryÃ¢ÂÂs men won 1-0 at Stoke thanks to a Mehmet Topal piledriver. Ã¢ÂÂFootball is played with your feet,Ã¢ÂÂ noted a sniffy Marca the next morning. LLL Prediction Ã¢ÂÂ Draw
Sporting (19th) v AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid (6th) Ã¢ÂÂ 18.00Last week, the word on the Sporting street was that former No.2 IÃÂ±aki Tejada would replace Manuel Preciado after the longserving coach was dumped by the club. This is no longer the case. Instead, Sporting have appointed la Primera's prickliest figure, Javier Clemente; the Basque barnstormer is now in charge of his ninth club in Spain.
The message from Clemente when unveiled to the media and fans on Tuesday was very similar to that of Diego Simeone, the coach of SundayÃ¢ÂÂs opponents: Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm going to ask [the players] for hard work, effort and sacrifice.Ã¢ÂÂ Fancy football is definitely going to be off the menu for Sporting who are currently six points from safety. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm not going to lose too much time looking at how to play pretty football. WhatÃ¢ÂÂs most important is to be positive and win,Ã¢ÂÂ promised Clemente. LLL Prediction Ã¢ÂÂ Draw
Mallorca (16th) v Villarreal (15th) Ã¢ÂÂ 18.00A revival in form for the inspirational figure of Borja Valero has lead to a revival in form for Villarreal, who have now gone four matches unbeaten. It has also lead to a revival in stories concerning the midfielder moving to a bigger and better world next season Ã¢ÂÂ the Santiago Bernabeu. Ã¢ÂÂThey're talking about Real Madrid now,Ã¢ÂÂ chuckled the former WBA footballer. Ã¢ÂÂIt was BarÃÂ§a before. But I donÃ¢ÂÂt think they are going to pay millions and millions for me,Ã¢ÂÂ said Borja with quaint modesty. LLL Prediction Ã¢ÂÂ Home win
Levante (4th) v Rayo Vallecano (10th) Ã¢ÂÂ 19.45Despite an impressive protest in the stands during SundayÃ¢ÂÂs clash with Getafe, the Rayo fans have lost a battle against the owners over the 'Day of the Club' against Real Madrid next week Ã¢ÂÂ the tradition that sees season ticket holders having to pay extra for their seat, normally in matches against the league leaders and Barcelona.
This year, socios will have to pay an extra Ã¢ÂÂ¬25 with the promise that there will be a reward some time next season. But as one fan noted to LLL, supporters were aware of the Ã¢ÂÂDay of the ClubÃ¢ÂÂ plans at the beginning of the current campaign, so there wasnÃ¢ÂÂt too much they could do it about it any way. LLL Prediction Ã¢ÂÂ Home win
Barcelona (2nd) v Valencia (1st) Ã¢ÂÂ 21.30Ã¢ÂÂPep and PiquÃÂ©, sitting in a tree, F-I-G-H-T-I-N-GÃ¢ÂÂ. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs the infantile vibe coming out of Catalunya this week after the centre-back was punished for a lamentable display against Osasuna in la Liga by being made to sit in the stands during BarÃÂ§aÃ¢ÂÂs 3-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen. Reports are that Guardiola is not happy at all with his defender, due to his high-profile relationship with Shakira, footage of him rafting during his summer holidays, and playing football like a spanner.
However, PiquÃÂ©Ã¢ÂÂs apparent displeasure at being dropped from the team Ã¢ÂÂ and that of the footballerÃ¢ÂÂs father JosÃÂ© towards the manager Ã¢ÂÂ is a big positive for the pair, says a straw-grasping Joan Vehils in ThursdayÃ¢ÂÂs Sport. Ã¢ÂÂThe worrying thing would be if PiquÃÂ© was happy to be in the stands and his father happy to fly to Germany and not see his son play.Ã¢ÂÂLLL Prediction Ã¢ÂÂ Home win
Zaragoza (20th) v Betis (14th) Ã¢ÂÂ 21.00Least surprising headline of the week in the Spanish sports press concerned Zaragoza owner and president Agapito Iglesias, a gentleman who letÃ¢ÂÂs just say has his fingers in all kinds of different pies. Ã¢ÂÂIglesias being investigated by tax authorities,Ã¢ÂÂ reports AS, concerning oddness during the sale of midfielder Ander Herrera from Zaragoza to Athletic Bilbao over the summer. LLL Prediction Ã¢ÂÂ Draw