Fighting talk at Almería, talk of fighting at Real Madrid
It would be fair to say that WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs Copa del Rey semi-final second legs throw up a wonderful win-win situation for anti-Madridistas in the Catalan capital, where LLL has learned through in depth investigations many are said to reside.
Should Real Madrid hang onto or increase their 1-0 advantage over Sevilla in the Santiago Bernabeu in an encounter kicking off at ten, then Barcelona can look forward to the prospect of winning three ClÃÂ¡sicos this season - five, even, should the dueling duo meet in the Champions League - by defeating JosÃÂ© MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂs men in AprilÃ¢ÂÂs final.
But were Madrid to go tumbling out of the competition, then there will still be much mirth, merriment and mischief-making to be made at the prospect of Mourinho stuck with the testing task of having to win the Champions League to prevent his first campaign in Mordor being a bit of a let-down.
The Barcelona press is still in full preening mode after SundayÃ¢ÂÂs defeat at Osasuna with both Mundo Deportivo and Sport declaring that Madrid have given up on la Liga and are kneeling at the delicate feetsies of PepÃ¢ÂÂs Dream Boys.
Writing in Sport, Josep MarÃÂa Casanovas taunts the president of the Santiago Bernabeu poking jauntily that Ã¢ÂÂFlorentino is not fronting up, heÃ¢ÂÂs hiding, he travels but he doesnÃ¢ÂÂt speak. He doesnÃ¢ÂÂt know what to say or what more he can do.Ã¢ÂÂ
All this jabbing and jibing to come assumes that BarÃÂ§a find their way past AlmerÃÂa in a match kicking off at eight on the south coast. But even with LLLÃ¢ÂÂs awful prediction prowess itÃ¢ÂÂs a safe bet from the blog that BarÃÂ§a will hang on to their five goal advantage from last weekÃ¢ÂÂs first leg despite AlmerÃÂa boss, JosÃÂ© Luis Oltra, revealing hopefully that Ã¢ÂÂweÃ¢ÂÂve practiced penalties just in case.Ã¢ÂÂ
Sevilla manager, Gregorio Manzano, admitted the same thing but with greater reason than AlmerÃÂa with his team facing a Real Madrid side who do have a 1-0 advantage but who are in poor form by the clubÃ¢ÂÂs fairly high standards.
Although Mourinho ruled out tiredness as a factor in recent dropped points against AlmerÃÂa and Osasuna which coincided with tough cup games midweek against AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid and Sevilla, the Madrid boss gave the excuse of his players being a bit hopeless in previous years and unaccustomed to being in three tournaments come February as the root cause of a whites wobble.
Ã¢ÂÂA football player is a creature of habit,Ã¢ÂÂ theorised The Little Bit Less Special One ahead of WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs game.
Marca blast that WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs game is the clubÃ¢ÂÂs first Ã¢ÂÂMou finalÃ¢ÂÂ and report that Pedro LeÃÂ³n and Fernando Gago were left out of the squad, not because Mourinho reckons they are bobbins, but because the pugilistic pair had a dressing scrap after some training ground tackles turned nasty.
Ã¢ÂÂMourinho has shown that he will not tolerate indiscipline,Ã¢ÂÂ soothed WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs editorial which also managed manfully to crow bar a dig at a certain ex-manager. Ã¢ÂÂIf Sevilla are knocked out, Mourinho will have gone up a step in comparison to Pellegrini.Ã¢ÂÂ
LLL is expecting Real Madrid to squeeze through to their first Copa del Rey final in seven years, however the blog is predicting a bit of a ding dong battle at the Santiago Bernabeu. It may be a late criminally late end with a extra time and penalties seeing the game finishing close to one in the morning in the Spanish capital, but it could well be worth watching. Perhaps with a duvet.