La Preview: Atlético’s new hero and relief for Getafe’s fans


Sporting (19th) v Valencia (2nd) - 18.00 With the burning topic of the week in Spain now being whether Cristiano Ronaldo is as handsome as the Portuguese player clearly thinks he is, the country’s football press rounded on someone utterly unqualified to answer that particular poser about a poser - David Albelda. As well as trawling through the disappointment of Valencia’s goalless draw against Genk - “we would have liked to have won but you can’t say we are out of the Champions League” - the veteran midfielder was also asked for his thoughts on Ronaldo’s contentious claim from Wednesday night. “I didn’t waste a second last night thinking about whether Ronaldo is ugly or good-looking,” revealed the Valencia man, “although if there was a poll I would lose 99% of the time.” LLL Prediction - Away win

Granada (20th) v Villarreal (17th) - 18.00Just one point from six in la Liga and and a crushing 2-0 home defeat midweek to Bayern Munich in the Champions League sees Villarreal jabbing the panic button with gusto. “It’s a bad situation, we have to improve,” noted Diego López. However, Villarreal’s situation could be a lot worse. They could be Granada. The newbies to la Primera have lost their first two games so far this season without scoring a goal, or even coming close. Club president, Quique Pina, has been talking about how calm and relaxed he is about Granada’s start to the season - a sure sign of how calm and relaxed he isn’t feeling about Granada’s start to the season. “I’m just as relaxed and excited as I was before la Liga began and I wanted to pass this onto the squad,” revealed Pina under the miscomprehension that the Granada players give a Dutchman’s clog what the strange man in the suit who came to lecture them was feeling. LLL Prediction - Away win

Mallorca (10th) v Málaga (8th) - 18.00More trouble at’mill for Mallorca this week with a very open rift between the club’s figurehead and Vice President, Serra Ferrer, and Michael Laudrup over the failure of the club to buy a new striker over the summer. Stuck in the middle is Mallorca president, Jaume Cladera, who noted that “in football, egos are delicate and you have to take care of them. You have to try and put each ego in its place. If not, you produce an imbalance and that’s were we are.” It seems so likely that a very grumpy Laudrup will walk any day now that names to replace the Dane have been rolling around the Balearic landscape with former Athletic Bilbao boss and all round genius in the blog’s eyes, Joaquín Caparrós, at the front of the queue - but denying it - having been recently released nut-job led Swiss outfit Neuchatel Xamax.LLL Prediction - Away win

Barcelona (4th) v Osasuna (7th) - 20.00Where the Spanish press lead, LLL is following - so it is off to Barcelona where the local columnists have had a field day digesting Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments and then regurgitating them like a fur ball.“The best thing he can do is look at Leo Messi who despite being number one in the world has never thumped his chest,” was the suggestion from José Luis Carazo writing in Sport. “Once again, reality beats fiction,” writes his colleague, Lluís Mascaró, on Ronaldo’s rather excellent portrayal in Spanish comedy show, ‘Crakòvia’. LLL Prediction - Home win (at least after the first half, anyway)

Sevilla (6th) v Real Sociedad (5th) - 22.00On an institutional level, Sevilla were not a group of happy campers this week after a meeting of the Spanish League (LFP). Having held their own rebel’s council last Thursday to discuss possible action to take on the omnipotent pair of Real Madrid and Barcelona, it seems that some of those more vocal members were quiet as wee, trembling mice, with the Sevilla Director General, José María Cruz, complaining that some put on their bestest, pretty petty coats and got down on one knee to apologise (to Real Madrid and Barcelona) for attending. “It was a free-for-all, a scrap,” lamented the Sevilla big wig. Cruz claimed that only Espanyol and Betis had Sevilla’s back. “Real Madrid had a very strong reaction against what Sevilla have been proposing in a sign they feel threatened.”LLL Prediction - Home win


Getafe (16th) v Rayo Vallecano (12th) - 12.00The two teams vying for the ever-so prestigious title of third best team in Madrid - or second, depending on what mood Atlético Madrid are in of a particular season - meet for the first time ever in la Primera. Unfortunately, the Getafe boss won’t be there flapping away on the pitch to lead his side into this celebrated clash. Again. In fact, Luis García has yet to stand and wave his arms on the Coliseum touchline as a fully fledged Getafe boss having been suspended for the first match of the season due to a misdemeanor from the final game of the last campaign, whilst wearing his Levante hat. Luis García was momentarily back in action at the Bernabeu last Saturday but was sent off and suspended for two games, apparently for telling the referee that he was a “disgrace” - something that is never going to go down well with Spain’s notoriously short-tempered and humourless men in the middle.On a side note, AS revealed on Thursday that Getafe’s infamous “Hot Zombies from Getafe” film - of the full-on adult variety dribbles the paper - was shown in Madrid on Thursday before being distributed to sperm donation clinics around the city. The sound of an invitation plopping into LLL’s post box was disappointedly absent. LLL Prediction - Home win

Zaragoza (18th) v Espanyol (9th) - 16.00LLL has had the dubious pleasure of seeing Zaragoza twice now this season - once on the google-box and the other in person - so the blog is perfectly qualified to declare that the Aragonese side are blooming awful. “Could have been worse,” was the verdict from manager, Javier Aguirre, after the goalless draw with Rayo Vallecano. What’s more, LLL also discovered yet more evil doing behaviour from the bottom-scraping Zaragoza who in recent months have thrown balls onto the pitch to stop the opposition, gone into administration to avoid paying debts to players and spent a silly amount of money from an investment fund that no-one really knows anything about. The club’s latest crime was Aguirre imitating a referee’s whistle during the Rayo clash with the maverick Mexican getting booked in the process. LLL Prediction - Draw

Atlético Madrid (15th) v Racing Santander (13th) - 18.00“Diego, the new idol of the Calderón” declares Friday’s edition of AS after Atlético’s 2-0 Europa win over Celtic and LLL is in full, hearty agreement. It was a sticky, steaming night in the Vicente Calderón but an evening when Diego making his first start for Atlético was very impressive indeed. Always wanting the ball and almost impossible to knock him off it when he got it, Diego seems to be ‘the brain’ in midfield that the Rojiblancos have been missing for some time. “A top player,” said Neil Lennon when LLL probed the Celtic boss after the game on what he thought of the Brazilian who scored Atlético’s second. “He’s hard to pick up and actually quite strong. Being here in Madrid will suit him. Maybe this is the platform for him to move up in his career,” opined Lennon who said that Diego reminded him a great deal of former Barcelona midfielder, Deco. LLL Prediction - Home win.

Levante (11th) v Real Madrid (1st) - 20.00“Handsome, rich, famous...and brave” was the panting headline on Friday from AS over the pluckiness of their hero who wants to play against Levante on Sunday “despite the ankle injury” given to him by the dastardly Leko of Dinamo Zagreb. But if Ronaldo is looking for any sympathy, the forward probably isn’t going to get it at Levante were yet more rough play can be expected. “He’s a very good, very fast player,” said Xavi Torres, “so if you have to give him a knock, as they say in football, then he’ll get one as will anyone else who we come up against and gives us the chance to win the ball.” The midfielder’s defensive colleague, Juanfran, couldn’t help but comment on Ronaldo’s modest statement over why everyone had it in for him. “I thought he was describing me,” chuckled the full-back.LLL Prediction - Away win

Athletic Bilbao (14th) v Betis (3rd)A big sigh of relief from Marcelo Biesla on Thursday after a 2-1 away win against Slovan Bratislava to take away a bit of the pressure that had been building on the Athletic boss after his team picked up just one point from six in their start to la Liga. The situation had become so tense that the aforementioned Joaquín Caparrós was even being linked with a quick return to the club he had to leave after his former boss lost the summer’s presidential elections. But once again, ‘Jokin’ said that he had no desire to return and was more interested in trying to restart his journalism studies. “You have to give Biesla time,” said Caparrós. “As the Athletic fan that I am, I hope and wish it goes well for the coach.” LLL Prediction - Home win