The Mice-Posting Weekend Predictions - Round 21


Valencia (3rd) vs Valladolid (17th)

As will be discovered with Robert Pires later on in the blog, the tendency for older, clapped-out footballers failing to grasp the notion that their leaden-paced, arthritic footballing stylings are no longer required by clubs who prefer players whose knees creak considerably less when running for the ball is showing no sign of dying out.

In a general ramble to the press covering the police looking too young these days, local councils banning Christmas decorations and never forgiving the Germans, 87-year-old Rubén Baraja has been moaning and groaning about his lack of action for Valencia this season.

“I feel unwanted as I’m not getting minutes or even getting into the team,” complained the midfielder whose only chance of a kick-about these days is when Ever Banega is pulled off by Unai Emery.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Barcelona (1st) vs Getafe (7th)

Joan Laporta seems to have lost all interest in the whole running-Barcelona business, with Mr President admitting that he wants to become the undisputed King of Catalunya, forever and ever and ever.

“I’m capable of governing Catalunya,” boasted Joan this week.

“I showed this with all my years at Barcelona” - years when a temper-holding Laporta only removed his trousers at an airport in a huff just the once.

Cataluyna is “a drugged state [partly true in one way - LLL] that is dying because it is being killed,” explained the Barcelona bigwig, who is expected to stand in the local elections due to be held at end of the year.

The response to his ramblings was more than a little hostile in Sport, with Lluis Mascaró warning that “it is one thing to lead Barça... and another to have the responsibility of leading a country.”

Especially one that is dying by being killed. Whilst drugged.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Real Madrid (2nd) vs Espanyol (14th)

La Liga Loca has decided to break decades of bad habits by being nice to Raúl for a wee while.

The reason for this most uncharacteristic burst of kindness is the Madrid captain informing the local press that he's not too fussed about sitting on the bench - “I can’t complain... sooner or later it was going to happen” - and that there is no blinkin’ refereeing conspiracy behind Barcelona’s position at the top of the table.

“They are leaders on their own merits,” opined the striker.

This appears to have thrown a damp tea towel over what was becoming a chip-pan fire of insanity with Marca and AS crying foul about the Barcelona being better than Madrid business, Sport and Mundo Deportivo crying foul over Marca and AS crying foul and then Marca and AS crying foul over Sport and Mundo Deportivo crying foul over Marca and AS crying foul.

In the end, everyone appears to be friends again (until this weekend, at least) with Sport even taking time out to praise Raúl’s honourable behaviour.

And in an extra bonus piece of news, it seems that Guti is dispelling the lazy and inconsistent reputation he carts about by being an injury doubt for the Espanyol clash, due to abdominal muscle hurtiness.

LLL Prediction - Home win


Málaga (15th) vs Deportivo (6th)

This week’s News from Sweden concerns a cheesy incident from the country’s capital...

“A 59-year-old man has been arrested for using his ex-wife's musophobia to wreak cruel revenge for their break up after he pushed 19 mice through her letter box on Sunday morning.

"The jilted ex-husband has been arrested on suspicion of unlawful threats and animal welfare offences.”

LLL Prediction - Home win

Athletic (8th) vs Xerez (20th)

The Rafa Benítez "wanting a sofa and getting a lamp" business has now become footballing folklore round some parts.

But this Mestalla-based story has been beaten brilliantly by Xerez, a team that needed a fair bit of tinkering on their squad during January in the “need 22 more footballers” sense of the word.

To put it bluntly, during the transfer window Xerez were looking for a Space Shuttle to have any chance of surviving relegation this season.

Instead, they were handed a scooter.

Over the past month, the club were only able to reinforce their playing ranks with just two footballers.

However, Marca have noted that they have managed to pick up a new president, manager, assistant manager, physical trainer, goalkeeping coach, sporting director and the all-important assistant sporting director.

This is probably because none of them are going to get paid over the six months due to the administration process that Xerez currently find themselves in, thanks to the fine work of the previous owners.

“The debt to the tax man is the worst,” complained new president Federico Suazo. “It seems that nobody paid anything.”

LLL Prediction - Home win

Mallorca (5th) vs Villarreal (10th)

Spot the difference:

“This is the worst moment of my career,” complained Villarreal’s Robert Pires to the press on January 20th. “The coach [Ernesto Valverde] isn’t picking me and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

“We all have the chance to prove ourselves to the new manager and I think the competition will be good for everyone.” Pressure for starting places is suddenly a good thing, says Robert Pires on February 4 after Valverde’s sacking.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Osasuna (9th) vs Tenerife (19th)

Little Tenerife have learned a valuable lesson in the dangers of fighting The Powers That Be.

The lesson being “Don’t do it.”

A couple of weeks ago, the idea was floated of one match per round of la Primera kicking off on a Monday night, English-style.

This game would exclude those taking part in any European competitions (allowing Real Madrid to join in the fun in a few weeks), possessing a sick note for asthma, forgetting their football kit - matches will not be held with footballers in their pants, no matter how much Cristiano Ronaldo wants it - and would not take place on an international week.

La Liga Loca expected this brand new notion to be mulled over for a century or two before being implemented.

Instead, Monday night football will be taking place as soon as the next round of action.

In a rapidly staged vote this week, 40 clubs in the LFP voted for the change in match schedule, with just one club opposing it - Tenerife.

And, of course, it is Tenerife vs Mallorca which has been selected by complete chance as the first game to be moved to the dream-ticket, 21.00 Monday night slot.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Almería (16th) vs Sporting (11th)

Pretty much the only side with fans who bother to support their team around the country for away games is Sporting.

And this is almost certainly one of the clubs that is going to be selected to play on a Monday night on quite a few occasions in the seasons to come.

So this will be causing the thousands-strong support - those with jobs, children, etc - one or two logistical issues, notes the president of Sporting's fan groups in Friday’s AS.

“They consider us to be the last monkeys in the circus,” rants José María Suárez Braña, who points out that away fans are already hit hard by having to fork out for two hotel nights because fixture dates are not known more than a week in advance.

Braña also has sympathy for those (admittedly few) Mallorca fans who may have booked flights and hotels in Tenerife who now have to change all their arrangements.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Zaragoza (18th) vs Sevilla (4th)

“The relationship between the coach and the supporters is worthy of a doctoral thesis,” noted Sevilla president José Maria del Nido last year on the bond - or lack of it - between his coach Manolo Jiménez and the Sanchez Pizjuán faithful.

This bond was stretched to breaking point on Wednesday in the first leg of the club’s cup semi against Getafe, when the Sevilla manager opted for bringing off Negredo after 36 minutes and replacing him with Romaric - a midfielder.

At the time, Sevilla were being battered by the visitors.

But that ended after Manolo’s brilliant midfield-shoring tactical switch and Sevilla went on to win the clash 2-0 - a handy lead to take to next week’s return leg in the Coliseum.

“I’m not here to make people happy. I’m paid to make decisions,” declared the triumphant Jiménez afterwards.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Racing (12th) vs Atlético Madrid (13th)

There are probably some book-reading, egghead types out there who can work out a formula to predict the likelihood of an Atlético Madrid victory in any given game.

La Liga Loca can certainly kick things off by offering up the factors involved. The chance of a win relates to:

Fear of being lynched by the crowd x dislike of more ridicule in the press x chance of extra bonuses x opportunities for getting laid by impressed lusty ladies x being generally a*sed about the encounter.

Atleti were around hundred times better on Thursday than the performance from last Sunday against Málaga and beat Racing 4-0 in the 1st leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.

But you can bet your house that the Rojiblancos will lose Sunday’s league encounter between the two clubs.

LLL Prediction - Home win

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