La Preview: Postiga's goal glut, Guti's potential homecoming & Bosch's hymen


Villarreal (13th) v Betis (12th) - 18.00 (local time)In a moment that was pure Alan Partridge, José Antonio Bosch tried to answer the simple question of whether the Betis board were supporting coach Pepe Mel during the club’s unfortunate run of form. Unfortunately, a fairly simple task was made more complex when the Betis director declared that “confidence was like a hymen, you either have it or you don’t.”Digging deeper into a hole of peculiarity, Bosch argued that “you can’t have a little bit of confidence ‘yes’ or a little bit of confidence ‘no’, in the same way you can’t be a little bit of a virgin. While the confidence is there, it’s there and the club maintains confidence in the coach.” The blog suggests that the more simple response ‘yes’ should be used next time.LLL Prediction - Home win

Barcelona (2nd) v Zaragoza (16th) - 20.00 A tired Messi on the bench or a tired Messi on the pitch should make no difference at all to Saturday’s clash at the Camp Nou, despite fighting talk from Zaragoza, a club having picked up just the single point from four games. “The dressing room can’t wait until the match comes,” claims midfielder Pablo Barrera. Then again, perhaps Zaragoza do have a chance with 'former Spurs flop Helder Postiga' now becoming 'free-scoring Hélder Postiga', after knocking in four for Zaragoza this season and banging in a couple in Portugal’s 6-2 win over Bosnia in midweek. LLL Prediction - Home win

Valencia (3rd) v Real Madrid (1st) - 22.00 One of the questions often asked by Real Madrid fans looking for the club to save their pennies a bit and reinforce their squad with Spanish chorizo is why the talented bunch of players sold by Valencia in the last year or so weren't signed by the Santiago Bernabeu side. Or, in Juan Mata’s case, why the forward was allowed to leave Real Madrid in the first place. While a deal could never be put together for David Villa back in the day, David Silva looked a good ‘un, according to Valencia president Manuel Llorente. “Everything stopped after the change of coach,” said Llorente, referring to the arrival of José Mourinho, “for a long time I felt that we were going to reach a deal. In Valencia we have the sensation that Madrid pay more for a player from a foreign club than one from here.”The Valencia boss also spoke about the ongoing exile of Roberto Soldado from the Spanish team, despite the fact that a certain Chelsea striker is not much cop these days. “Between Soldado and Torres for the national side, I’d go with Soldado. But Torres has more influence in the capital.”LLL Prediction - Draw


Real Sociedad (20th) v Espanyol (7th) - 12.00Joan Capdevila, the forgotten man of forgotten men of Spanish football - which might technically make him remembered in a double negative kind of way - has had a rotten time of it since joining Benfica over the summer. And the former international left-back is looking for a way out in the winter window, according to his agent Horacio Gazzo. “He’d love to go to Espanyol. It would be a great way of ending his sporting career,” claimed Gazzo, on a possible switch back to la Liga in what would represent something of a footballing graveyard shift. It certainly has been for Carlos Kameni, anyway. LLL Prediction - Home win

Osasuna (10th) v Rayo Vallecano (10th) - 16.00A quick Twitter headcount to gauge who wants Guti now that the midfielder’s contract had been cancelled at Besiktas showed an even split between those in love with the idea of having the former Real Madrid man at their club and those opposed to the concept. That split largely depended on whether the teams in question were any good or not. It seems that Rayo supporters - very much part of the ‘or not’ - crowd form part of the half that wants Guti to make a move to Vallekas with #Gutirayo becoming a trending topic in Madrid. Oh, if only the universe were that much fun. LLL Prediction - Home win

Sporting (17th) v Getafe (14th) - 16.00In fact, the universe is such a miserable place that not even Getafe are coming forward to offer Guti a new home in the winter. “There’s no chance that Guti will come here,” announced a firm Coliseum president, Angel Torres. LLL Prediction - Draw

Sevilla (5th) v Athletic Bilbao (9th) - 18.00The loss of Carlos Gurpegui potentially until the end of the season with a ligament injury has hit Athletic Bilbao hard on every single level claims the club’s coach Carlos Bielsa who is looking to keep the midfielder around and about the squad as much as possible during the footballer’s recuperation. “On a football level, it’s his versatility and effectiveness,” said ‘El Loco’ naming Gurpegui’s various attributes. “On a personal level, he’s a teammate without rival and in spirit he’s always an inspiration for us,” claimed Bielsa before going on to giggle about good the midfielder makes him feel about himself. LLL Prediction - Home win

Atlético Madrid (11th) v Levante (4th) - 20.00 Belly-button watching has been the pastime of the week in the Rojiblanco camp, with navel-gazing the theme of the fortnight after Atlético’s disastrous 3-2 defeat to Getafe. In this period manager Gregorio Manzano has managed to hang on to his job, helped a tiny bit by a friendly win in Egypt against Zamalak. “If I waste time thinking about my future, I’ll do my job badly,” claimed the Atlético boss who is doing his job badly even without thinking about his future. A fading Levante should be an easy opportunity for a quick bounce back from the catastrophe in the Coliseum a fortnight ago, but nothing is ever a given at the Vicente Calderón especially after some fine fighting talk from feisty opposition midfielder, Juanlu. “We don’t know what version we are going to face, but it’s always better to fish in choppy waters,” warned the Levante man. LLL Prediction - Home win

Granada (19th) v Mallorca (15th) - 22.00Home team fans who, just a couple of seasons ago, were in the third tier of Spanish football and supporting a pretty much bankrupt club appear to be surprised to find themselves in the relegation zone after 11 games, when perhaps the Champions League places were what was expected. This disgruntlement was the root cause of jeering towards Granada striker Ikechukwu Uche in the side’s last clash, something that caused Granada boss Fabri to come out on the attack against the fans in support of his player. But this outburst and Granada’s situation which sees just four goals scored all season has not changed Fabri’s position at the club says the side’s sporting director, Juan Carlos Cordero. “The confidence in Fabri is the same as it was on day one. We’ve never thought about any change in the technical team. Doubts or uncertainty don’t help anyone.” Meanwhile, Mallorca have tried to cheer up goal-starved fans by unveiling their new striker, Marvin Ogunjimi. The problem is that due to a bureaucratic mix-up on deadline day, the Belgian cannot play until January. He’ll still be the goal-shy club’s top scorer by the end of the month, mind. LLL Prediction - Away win


Racing Santander (18th) v Málaga (6th) - 21.00In last week’s episode of La Liga Loca, the blog left you with the nail-biting news that Racing weren’t very good at all, had a collection of irked, unpaid players, a president who had just a quit and an owner, in the form of Ali Syed, who had been very absent indeed and was being investigated by Interpol. Those last two facts may well be connected. Well, not too much has changed expect to say that Marca reports are rumblings from Mexico that there is a group interested in taking a controlling stake in the club. LLL can only hope that those in charge of the Cantabrian club use Google this time to look into their potential suitors, as that was all that was required to discover that their current owner was dodgier than an Atlético Madrid defender. LLL Prediction - Away win