The Living for Betis Weekend Predictions - Round 31

SaturdayGetafe (14th) vs Barcelona (1st)A light-headed La Liga Loca has to confess that it has been rubbing its hands on its cockles all week. But has always washed them after.

After a month of unrelenting tedium at the top of the table, things are about to get sexy and sensational in Spain. And that’s because the glorious wrecking ball of Getafe is now swinging merrily into action. Despite having been fairly pants for much of the year, the Coliseum club has a more than decent record against Spain’s big two, having beaten Madrid and drawn against Barça already this season and caused no end of headaches for the sides in the past. AS promises that the Coliseum will be a ‘cauldron’ - it won’t - and the Getafe players are claiming that the match ain’t gonna be no barn dance for the visitors.

Meanwhile, the Camp Nou club has denied stories that the much-anticipated match will be beamed live to fans in the Catalan capital using Andrés Iniesta’s forehead as a screen. LLL Prediction - DrawAtlético Madrid (6th) vs Numancia (19th)Even when they are not losing at home to Osasuna, the rojiblancos remain a highly entertaining club.

This week, the papers have been poking through the side’s summertime transfer targets, although a lot still depends on what level of European competition they will be playing in next season.AS claim that the Calderón club will be making a 20 million euro grab for David Silva - and offering several sessions of hypnosis - to persuade the Valencia man to ignore the advances of Juventus, Real Madrid and Liverpool and play down the same flank as Pernía. Raising the chuckle stakes even further, Marca reveal that Atleti’s sporting director Jesús Pitarch had dinner with former Zaragoza tearaway Andrés d’Alessandro, now at Porte Alegre, realising that the club did not have enough dressing room chaos going on already. Maniche, for one, is almost certainly going to have his cakes and eat them somewhere new next season and boasted to the press that: “I have the chance to go back to putting on the shirt of a big club.”

An XXL shirt, of course. LLL Prediction - Home win Athletic (15th) vs Deportivo (8th)In an effort to channel another 5-4 epic encounter, La Liga Loca is tipping this tie to be an absolute stinker.

Ever since reaching 43 points, Deportivo have apparently given up the ghost and gone on strike. And that’s not overly surprising since most of the side are out of contract this summer. Meanwhile, Athletic have been saving their cherry like an overeager evangelist for May’s Copa del Rey final.

The arrival of the semi-final stage of the competition left Athletic as limp as lettuce with the club having managed just one win in nine games - a rubbish run that leaves them just four points above the drop zone. LLL Prediction - DrawMálaga (7th) vs Mallorca (12th)Málaga’s rather handy 0-2 win over Villarreal last weekend has set things up nicely for a bull run at next year’s Europa League (La Liga Loca feels so silly writing that name).

But even the Champions chase is not such a crazy dream should Villarreal give up, Valencia fail to pay their players again and Atleti carry on being Atleti. Either way, Málaga president Fernando Sanz is already getting giddy over away trips to the Ukraine next season. “It would be magnificent to play in Europe,” confirmed the owner’s son as he searched for the word ‘suitcase’ and ‘incentive’ in his Russian-Spanish dictionary. LLL Prediction - Home winRecreativo (18th) vs Real Madrid (2nd)After months of tense excitement, the date of Florentino Perez’ glorious coronation has been set.

And it’s June 17 - meaning that one lucky so-and-so who is Spanish, been a ‘socio’ for 10 years, has nine people willing to serve as directors, 57 million euro and the support of both Madridista papers in the bag can become the new King of Castle Greyskull! Unlike previous presidential polls, a third party firm will be running the show with no involvement from anyone in the club, boast Marca, who therefore imply that Madrid’s employees are so corrupt or incompetent that they cannot be trusted to run the election themselves. Incidentally, for those watching the game on La Sexta in Spain, feel proud that the station’s undying dedication to the footballing cause means that their 10pm Super Saturday, Big Live Match is commentated on from a small booth in the station’s headquarters in the south of Madrid, rather than the stadium itself. LLL Prediction - Away winSundayValladolid (9th) vs Villarreal (5th)As the blog reported on Thursday, Villarreal’s comprehensive exit from the Champions competition led to the annual investigation into why the English are lauding over la Liga. In Friday’s edition of Marca, the papers director Eduardo Inda cites money and physical superiority as the two main causes. And certainly not the hopeless organisation of the game in Spain - organisation which meant that the upcoming midweek round of matches were scheduled just four days before some are due to kick off. Instead, the paper has praised the leadership of the running for re-election as president of the league, José Luis Astiazarán, and chosen to ignore the organisation’s refusal to tackle match-fixing, their overseeing of clubs going into bankruptcy, players not being played and a destructive media fist fight. “The balance of the leader of the LFP could not be more positive,” gurgled Tuesday’s editorial, which had nothing whatsoever to do with the back-scratching fact that Astiazarán is siding with the paper’s holding company in the Great TV War. LLL Prediction - Home winAlmería (16th) vs Osasuna (11th)Over the past week, Alvaro Negredo has dropped one or two hints that he fancies a move away from Almería and to England’s green and pleasant pastures. “Clearly every footballer wants to play there,” noted the striker pointing desperately to himself and ignoring David Villa. “Personally, the team I most like is Chelsea.”The club who has Negredo’s Stamford Bridge dreams in their hands is not Almería, but Real Madrid who have a 4.5 million euro buy-back clause on their ex-striker should he ever leave his current club.

However, their intentions may be to use him as a counter weight in a deal to bring either Villa or Silva from Mestalla, leaving poor old Alvaro stuck in the back waters of la Liga.  LLL Prediction - Home winEspanyol (20th) vs Racing (10th)“I’ll swap not playing another minute and Espanyol staying up,” declared Perico forward Luis García. Espanyol fans would argue that the two situations are directly linked. LLL Prediction - Home winValencia (4th) vs Sevilla (3rd)Everything is rosy in Valencia’s garden once again!

The players have finally been paid the 15 million euro owed to them since February. Correction - the players have been paid 20 percent of the money owed to them since February, with the remainder to come any day now, promises the club. Carlos Marchena, for one, is towing the party line by declaring that he is not rushing to the cashpoint to look for his loot. “I don’t need to go to my bank account, their word is enough,” said the defender showing himself to be either dumb or gullible. Or a magic combination of the two. LLL Prediction - Home winBetis (13th) vs Sporting (17th)While the proposed buy-out of Betis by Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid al-Nuaimi appears to have gone very quiet indeed - La Liga Loca heard a story that the supposed interested party knew nothing of the deal - there has been much talk of the comings and goings of players next season, should Betis survive another relegation fight. Defender Juanito is a free agent over the summer and looks set for a move to Atlético, and admitted this week that “there has not been an offer of renewal since December.” Meanwhile, Emana was caught confessing to the French press that he fancied flying off to a bigger club than Betis over the summer. It was a declaration that brought about a swift and completely plausible denial from the man himself.“I work for Betis, live for Betis and I’m part of Betis,” shouted the midfield marvel. LLL Prediction - Home win

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