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Barcelona v Hércules

There is something peculiar going on at Marca. Well, there is something even more peculiar going on at Marca than normal. Just look at the face of the paper’s director Eduardo Inda, someone who has the permanently bemused but not unduly bothered expression of a journalist being goosed by a courgette.

All of a sudden, the paper has suddenly started being incredibly nice to Barcelona. Some naive souls who know little better would suggest the paper is simply acknowledging a fine sporting institution that is arguably the best football team at the world at the moment.

LLL knows that this is poppycock - Real Madrid fill this role in Marcaworld - but it has another explanation for a gushing editorial in Tuesday’s edition that praised new club president who has imposed a code of ethics at the Catalan club. “Leaders like Sandro Rosell should be welcomed into Spanish football,” oozed the paper. “Up to now, the behaviour of the brand new president has been irreproachable.”

The blog suspects that this sudden change in Marca’s winds may have something to do with the paper making amends for their disgraceful - some would say vile - front page from the previous week that completely misrepresented a photograph of José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola together, suggesting that the Barça boss was reluctant to shake the hand of the man from Madrid.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Valencia v Racing

And so Racing’s grand early season ar*e-kicking tour of Spain continues with a trip to Mestalla. Round one saw Barcelona arrive, yawn, scratch their junk, score within three minutes, score two more, then go home. This time it will be Valencia paddling some Cantabrian booty on Saturday night.

There may be have a chance for blossoming cheeks to whiten with the visit of Zaragoza next week, but after that respite its Sevilla, the mighty Getafe and Villarreal to come.

If Valencia weren’t already fairly confident over tanning Racing’s hide on Saturday, they could be super confident of doing so with the unveiling of their new Anfield style “whooo, we’re so scary!” painted tunnel decorations. As the Racing players stand around before running out onto the Mestalla pitch, they will be reminded of all the trinkets won by their opponents over the years and come face to face with the terrifying war cry “Win! Win! Win” painted onto the tunnel roof.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Real Madrid v Osasuna

La Liga Loca knew that watching basketball was bad for you. It certainly is for Guti whose tiny brain seems even more addled than usual these days. The former Madridista was pictured, this week, watching Spain getting knocked out of the basketball World Championships in Turkey team of tall people.

But he has been busy elsewhere by chatting with a Spanish radio station and moaning about the manner of his departure from the club were he spent 15 years doing just 15 notable things in that period.

Unsurprisingly, having announced that he hated the place and couldn’t wait to get out before last season was over, the club’s send-off in July was a fairly low key one. And the shy-and-retiring Guti is not happy about this at all with the complaint that “both Raúl and I needed something more.”

La Liga Loca agrees. Whilst Raúl deserved being carried out of the Bernabeu on the shoulders of mermaids and maidens for all that he has done for the club, Guti’s exit deserved greater fanfare - a giant, golden catapult in the shape of a boot to launch the number 14 over and out of the stadium, perhaps?

Anyway, Guti doesn’t care that much anyway. “It would be ridiculous to waste time with a team I didn’t want to be in,” he huffed.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Athletic Bilbao v Atlético Madrid

AS in whining mode on Friday morning over poor Kun, Kun, Kun. Thanks to the work of a minion on what must have been a very slow day in AS-land, the world now knows that the Atleti forward has travelled 46, 374 km for Argentina over their last eight games, playing just 147 mins in the process. That’s 311 km on the road for every minute on the pitch apparently.

Quite what this all means LLL has no idea at all, but the paper did bring good news that Diego Forlán had a couple of weeks off with Uruguay having a bit of a country-sized rest during the international break. And he has put it to very good use indeed judging by this photo.

LLL Prediction - Away win


Sporting v Mallorca

Considering photos of Michael Laudrup have pride of place in LLL’s slightly sinister shrine of heroes, the blog was most upset to discover this week that thieves had broken into the Great Dane’s house and stolen a watch and some money.

Thankfully Laudrup’s all round dreaminess remained untouched.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Zaragoza v Málaga

Rather than seeing the loan spell till January with Stoke as a chance to stock up on beef Oxo cubes and Red Leicester cheese before returning to la Liga, it seems that Jermaine Pennant is looking to make the swap from la Primera to the Potteries a permanent one.

“I’ve missed the Premier League,” said Pennant before really getting to the bottom of the issue, “and missed team meetings and understanding the instructions I am getting.”

LLL Prediction - Draw

Getafe v Levante

In what can best be described as a supernova of activity, this week, the Spanish League (LFP) announced a plan to schedule some matches at 3pm from the start of 2011 to hook into countries in the Asian market. It is most unlikely that either of these two teams will be selected for such an honour.

However, LLL is not entirely sure if the LFP have grasped the notion that these same countries would like more than a couple of days notice of what the schedule for the weekend’s games will be - something Spanish fans and the rest of those who love la Liga have to endure every frackin’ week.

The other piece of news was the LFP announcing a prize for the best goal celebration of the season award in conjunction with their new sponsors, Burger King (come back Maniche, come back!).

LLL expects that Getafe forward Javier Arizmendi won’t need to worry his pretty little head about this particular accolade, too much.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Villarreal v Espanyol

If reports from Italy are to believed - and they are not, according to the man himself - then Giuseppe Rossi’s days are numbered at Villarreal with the striker hoping to go back to Italy in January. “I’m hoping to go back to Italy in January,” confirmed the former Manchester United. Supposedly.

Should that come to pass and Nilmar is left on his tod up front for the rest of Villarreal’s campaign, then Rossi fans can still keep up to date with Giuseppe’s life with his curiously entertaining Twittersite,@GiuseppeRossi22

You can read about how thrilled he is to be back training with the Italian national side - “ my days here r kinda boring...its literally sleep, practice, eat, sleep, practice, eat...........yeah, exactly like that.” His thoughts about Roger Federer - “Wait......please tell me u guys saw Federer's shot between the legs....SICKKK!!!!!” And not forgetting his concert going plans, of course - “guess who got tickets for the EMINEM and JAYZ concert at Yankees Stadiu ?? ya boyyyy did....”


LLL Prediction - Home win

Sevilla v Deportivo

Excellent news for a Friday ahoy! Alvaro Negredo appears to be having a miserable time at Sevilla having become a target for the critics in the stands. LLL can’t think why.

“Nobody likes to be booed. Especially not at home,” complained the striker, who can now look forward to a double dose on Sunday afternoon after his midweek whine.

And it’s even more excellent news for a Friday ahoy from La Coruña! Deportivo are set to report that the club’s debt has been reduced by €57 million over the past two years.

The less excellent news is that it still stands at €103m, according to AS. And that’s not forgetting that watching Depor in action in the footballing equivalent of enduring root canal work performed by a drunken chimp.

LLL Prediction - Home win


Almería v Real Sociedad

Yay! It’s the return of the very excellent Juanma Lillo to Spanish TV screens on Monday night, in a televised - in some places - Monday night clash. The Almería boss is taking on a side he managed for a season and a bit before moving to the south coast but feels that both his new and old club will be in a relegation fight, this season.

And for the title? Lillo has a fairly pessimistic prediction. “Madrid and Barcelona will both get over 100 points and then in no particular order, Atlético, Valencia, Sevilla, Getafe, Villarreal...and the rest.”

LLL Prediction - Away win

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