SaturdayDeportivo (6th) vs Sevilla (4th)For the opening instalment of the weekend predictions, La Liga Loca must come over all early 90Ã¢ÂÂs Ben Elton with a little bit of politics. There has been a fair smattering of coverage in Spain over Freddie KanoutÃÂ© celebrating his midweek Copa del Rey goal against Deportivo by revealing a T-shirt featuring the word Ã¢ÂÂPalestineÃ¢ÂÂ in several languages. And on the whole, the reporting of his action, which resulted in a yellow card but could end up being quite a lot more, has been fairly supportive. Ã¢ÂÂFreddie is someone who is very involved in such matters,Ã¢ÂÂ said, under-fire coach, Manolo JimÃÂ©nez on the incident. Ã¢ÂÂHeÃ¢ÂÂs only calling for peace and I think the authorities should bear this in mind and not punish him,Ã¢ÂÂ commented team-mate Diego Capel. KanoutÃÂ© himself claims that Ã¢ÂÂitÃ¢ÂÂs something I felt I had to do...I am 100 percent responsible for my actions.Ã¢ÂÂ LLL Prediction - DrawValencia (2nd) vs Villarreal (7th)Players losing it big time! - Part One. First up in this weekÃ¢ÂÂs one-off special is Valencia full-back, Miguel, who took the Copa del Rey about 10 times more seriously than the AtlÃÂ©tico squad by reportedly telling the linesman that he had waved his last flag. The refereeÃ¢ÂÂs match report of the 1-1 clash away at Racing claims that the Portuguese power keg responded to his second yellow card by informing the bemused assistant that he was a Ã¢ÂÂson of a bitch. IÃ¢ÂÂm going to kill you, you son of a bitch.Ã¢ÂÂ Miguel himself is a little unsure of whether he made such a threat, but is very, very sorry indeed if it turns out that he did. Ã¢ÂÂI apologise to the referee and to his assistant for saying these things,Ã¢ÂÂ humbled the Mestalla Hulk. Ã¢ÂÂI was angry because I felt powerless,Ã¢ÂÂ said Miguel as way of explanation. Unfortunately for the potty-mouthed Miguel, itÃ¢ÂÂs an excuse that - like Rufete - is unlikely to wash with the stick-wielding school masters of La Liga who are set to hand out a hefty suspension for his toy-throwing tantrum. LLL Prediction - Home winSundayMallorca (19th) vs Real Madrid (3rd)And it was such a fiendish plan, as well. On Thursday, Real Madrid had their appeal to allow them to play both Huntelaar and Diarra in the Champions League turned down flat by UEFAÃ¢ÂÂs dodgy-sounding Control and Discipline committee. The legal eagles at Castle Greyskull had come up with the brilliant strategy of Ã¢ÂÂLook! Our suits are expensive! And we are Real Madrid! And, and, and ITÃ¢ÂÂS JUST NOT FAIR (foot stamp, foot stamp).Ã¢ÂÂ But it wasnÃ¢ÂÂt enough to change the minds of those pen-pushers in Nyon.The big floating head of Michel Platini boomed Ã¢ÂÂitÃ¢ÂÂs forbidden! itÃ¢ÂÂs against the rules of nature,Ã¢ÂÂ like SupermanÃ¢ÂÂs father when Clark turned back time to save Lois. But this wonÃ¢ÂÂt stop the club taking the issue further, say both Marca and AS. LLL Prediction - Away winNumancia (16th) vs Getafe (10th)When El Pato signed for Getafe in 2006 an Argentine colleague of La Liga Loca advised that yes, Snr Abbondanzieri was the countryÃ¢ÂÂs No.1 and a fine keeper. But also warned that the he was capable of the odd mad moment from time to time. Fast forward two years and those crazy catastrophes are becoming more and more frequent - the latest of which was a tremendous striker-flattening rush out of the box last weekend against Deportivo. It seems that Getafe are looking to send El Pato quacking back to Boca Juniors for some cash and a couple of friendlies against the Argentine side. ItÃ¢ÂÂs a move that will give much chuffness to a section of the quick-to-boo fans at the Coliseum judging by the reaction to the keeper from some home supporters last Sunday. LLL Prediction - DrawRacing (11th) vs Recreativo (17th)The good people of a snug-indoors Santander formed just part of a large chunk of indifference concerning this weekÃ¢ÂÂs Copa de Rey games from the average Spanish football fan.
A combination of the country being frackinÃ¢ÂÂ cold at the moment and the two-legs system meant that there were more empty seats in evidence than a clash at the Camp Nou. A plucky 12,675 shivered in the Sardinero to watch the visit of Valencia. Lower league Poli Ejido managed to muster just 2,500 fans to their clash with Espanyol. 15,000 made it to the SÃÂ¡nchez PizjuÃÂ¡n for Sevilla against Deportivo. But at the bottom of the cheerleading chart itÃ¢ÂÂs Mallorca where just 2,500 turned up at the Ono Estadi to watch their sideÃ¢ÂÂs clash with AlmerÃÂa. LLL Prediction - Home win Sporting (12th) vs Valladolid (9th)La Liga Loca is currently looking out of its cosy Capital City cafe window at a blizzard and an excellent amount of snow. It is also chortling Ã¢ÂÂhuh! global warming!Ã¢ÂÂ at five-minute intervals, displaying its great wit and wisdom. Basically, itÃ¢ÂÂs copying the kind of person that should be beaten about the head with a frozen squirrel. The point of this ramble is that SportingÃ¢ÂÂs El MolinÃÂ³n stadium is probably under about 10 feet of ice at the moment, putting this match into some doubt. LLL Prediction - Draw (and a lot of glove action if it takes place)Betis (15th) vs MÃÂ¡laga (8th)For the past few weeks, there has been barely a journalistic squeak from the Spanish press regarding the MÃÂ¡laga match-fixing allegations. By way of a quick catch-up, the case surrounds suggestions from the Real Sociedad president that MÃÂ¡laga paid some Tenerife players to lose their Segunda B match-up last season - a clash that helped lift the southern side into the promised land of the Primera. IÃÂ±aki BadiolaÃ¢ÂÂs allegations centred around a tape-recording of a conversation supposedly between himself and, the then Tenerife player, Jesuli discussing naughty bung action. This week, Jesuli went before a Tenerife lawyer to deny all allegations and say that he is as clean as a whistle. And so the story continues ... but very slowly. LLL Prediction - Home winAtlÃÂ©tico Madrid (5th) vs Athletic (13th)Do you, Dear Reader, remember the heady days of 2008? Crunchie Bars! Yazz topping the charts! The pound worth something! But most importantly of all, an all-powerful AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid. Oh, how the Spanish press were weÃ¢ÂÂre-not-worthing at the feet of the fantastic four of Kun, Simao, Maxi and Forlan and the clubÃ¢ÂÂs 15 match unbeaten streak. Well, those days of are long gone for poor old Atleti, as it has taken just two, yes, two defeats for the rojiblancos to be branded a Ã¢ÂÂcrisis clubÃ¢ÂÂ in Spain. And this incredible claim is despite the fact that those defeats were against Valencia at the Mestalla and a brilliant Barcelona, and that AtlÃÂ©tico are just two points from the Champions League places and through to the knock-out stages of this yearÃ¢ÂÂs competition.
Sadly, it seems that the familiar calls for Javier AguirreÃ¢ÂÂs head to put placed on a poll are back. Ã¢ÂÂThe sad thing is that Mexican seems to have lost the plot, this season,Ã¢ÂÂ sniffs a demanding Marca.LLL Prediction - Home winEspanyol (18th) vs AlmerÃÂa (14th)Players losing it big time! - Part Two. Espanyol keeper, Carlos Kameni is the second frosty-mooded footballer in this weekÃ¢ÂÂs special section. The Perico player was confronted by a supporter after a training session and told that he neednÃ¢ÂÂt bother renewing his contract this summer. Kameni responded by grabbing the unfortunate fan and shouting Ã¢ÂÂwhat...you want to die!? I am a professional. Respect my work!Ã¢ÂÂ - In fact it was similar to the last conversation La Liga Loca had with its FourFourTwo bosses. Unsurprisingly, all at the club were a little unimpressed with this outburst with the sideÃ¢ÂÂs fan groups calling for a fining and a flogging for the goading goalkeeper. Ã¢ÂÂWe ask that the player be sanctioned with the biggest possible punishment,Ã¢ÂÂ fumed one fan site. An apology from Kameni appears to have lowered tempers a tad in the Catalan capital but the real proof of the polemical pudding will come in the Montjuic on Sunday evening. LLL Prediction - Home winOsasuna (20th) vs Barcelona (1st)It seems that the Copa del Rey and the rarity of a packed stadium wasnÃ¢ÂÂt incentive enough for Pep to field his first teamers against AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid. But the visit of UzbekistanÃ¢ÂÂs finest was, it appears.On Thursday, PepÃ¢ÂÂs Dream Boys played a friendly with visiting Bunyodkor - the club that Joan Laporta has formed an inexplicably strong relationship with and one that reportedly made an audacious bid for Samuel EtoÃ¢ÂÂo over the summer.The cheeky game included Alves, Puyol, EtoÃ¢ÂÂo, Messi, Henry and Xavi in BarcelonaÃ¢ÂÂs starting line-up - but this formidable array of talent wasnÃ¢ÂÂt enough to prevent a humbling 1-1 draw against their less illustrious opponents. LLL Prediction - Draw