The finger-thrusting, ticket-touting weekend Primera predictions

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Athletic (6th) v Sporting (12th)

Athletic Bilbao ended up being a bit of a big mover in the winter transfer market, with the €8.5 million purchase of Zaragoza’s Ander Herrera, who will join up with his new side in the summer.

And as with all of the transfers for the Basque outfit 10% of the transfer fee was for the footballer’s playing ability and the rest for the family background - in the midfielder’s particular case it was the player’s birthplace of Bilbao.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Zaragoza (15th) v Racing (17th)

Giving a big old wave to the crowd ahead of Monday night’s clash between Racing and Valencia was the club’s happy-clappy new owner, Ahsan Ali Syed, who bought 80% of the institution’s shares to herald a bright new “sustainable and competitive” future for the Cantabrian side, in the words of the Indian businessman now running the show in Santander.

That sexy future will include Giovani dos Santos, who continues his odyssey of a career that has taken the midfielder to Barcelona, Tottenham, Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and now Racing - the side the naughty Mexican booze hound is joining on loan until the end of the season.

“I’ve come to a serious club with a lot of history, people have said good things about it,” beamed the 21-year-old journeyman, failing to reveal the names of those naughty fibsters. The former Barça man is set to feature in Saturday’s clash with Zaragoza, a match he has branded ‘a final’. Giovani has settled back into the clichéd life of la Liga quickly, it would appear.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Getafe (10th) v Deportivo (14th)

Slipping down the table faster than Shakira having din dins at Gerard Piqué’s place, it’s Getafe who have contrived to lose four of their last five league games. This does not bode well for Míchel the Manager’s medium term future at the club as the Getafe boss is out of contract at the end of June, an issue that the smooth operator and the club president have been mulling over.

“I’d like to carry on here and the president knows it, I think he wants the same,” sighed Míchel, who is very much with the glass half full when it comes to Getafe’s league position. “I look up from where we are, I have no reason to look down.”

LLL Prediction - Home win

Almería (19th) v Espanyol (5th)

Almería’s penalty practice session wasn’t required in the end against Barcelona, with the Dream Boys winning 3-0 on the south coast in their Copa del Rey semi, and managing to do without Andrés Iniesta, Leo Messi, Xavi and David Villa in the process.

This left the score in the three games the two sides have played against each other this season as Barcelona 16-0 Almería. So all to play for, then, in the Camp Nou clash in la Liga in April for bragging rights in this particular tussle.

LLL Prediction - Away win

Osasuna (16th) v Mallorca (11th)

LLL feels that poor Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t know who he was messing with when he had a ding dong battle with Osasuna nut-job, Walter Pandiani, at half time during Sunday’s clash. The truck driving, boggle-eyed, 'scary as clowns' striker told the press this week that Ronaldo had taunted him by asking how much he earned.

Pandiani did not take too kindly to this and confirmed that the Real Madrid man was “an phenomenal player but has a screw loose,” suggesting that the Portuguese forward behave less like a chav and more like Leo Messi.

“Until you’ve won Spanish Cups and the Supercopa like I have in Spain, then it’s better if you listen more,” barked the Uruguayan who has picked up five trinkets in his spell in la Liga.

Naturally, José Mourinho took up the right of reply to the Osasuna man’s comments and noted that “Pandiani has had his moment of glory, he didn’t pay anything for it either. He’s clever.”

“Now his papa has come out to defend him,” sniggered Pandiani a day later.

For Mourinho’s and Ronaldo’s sake, it’s a good job Madrid won’t be facing Osasuna until later this year, muses LLL.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Villarreal (3rd) v Levante (18th)

Desperate times call for desperate measures at lowly Levante, with the club resorting to that most desperate of measures only engaged when a side is really up the creek - motivational exercises.

As well as putting posters up all over the dressing room reminding the club’s footballers of just how great they are, Levante coach Luis García played the side’s goals of the season on the team coach’s DVD on the way to the Getafe game, last weekend, a game where Levante also came away as 2-0 winners.

The players have also been forced into the hell dimension called ‘team building’ by getting onto small platforms and falling backwards in the hope that their teammates catch them.

“They need to see that the person by their side isn’t a teammate, it’s their brother, their family,” explained García ahead of a game where no amount of West Coast, hippy-lovin’ nonsense is going to prevent an almighty hiding for his newly empowered players. 

LLL Prediction  - Home win

Barcelona (1st) v Atlético Madrid (7th)

At last, a player at Atlético Madrid with the cojones to say exactly what he thinks. Whilst Kun Agüero was squeaking and bleating that he loved the club, loved the city, loved Quique and the fans and hoped to see out his newly signed contract to  2014, the godlike genius of Diego Forlán gave a metaphorical middle-finger to the Vicente Calderón support after they booed him off the pitch during Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Athletic.

“I’m not an Atlético fan so it seems a lack of respect to kiss the badge,” explained the Rojiblanco striker who said that his only love is Peñarol. However Forlán did say that he understood the average José or Josette’s need to vent his or her spleen in his general direction during games to get their kicks.

“I know that football is the cheapest form of psychological treatment for people.” Very useful indeed considering the mental state of the average Atleti nut. 

LLL Prediction - Home win


Sevilla (8th) v Málaga (20th)

On Sunday, Julio Baptista returns to the club where he began his Spanish football journey. However, the Brazilian striker is unlikely to find it an enjoyable occasion considering his brand new expensively assembled team are rock bottom of the table. Below Levante even, which is really saying something.

“My head is with Málaga and I only want to help the club out of this situation,” claimed the former Roma man ahead of the game.

LLL Prediction - Away win

Real Madrid (2nd) v Real Sociedad (9th)

The second of this year’s five - potentially seven - Clásicos looks set to take place in Valencia, despite the chances that the ticket allocation in Mestalla will see 37,000  being shared between Madrid and Barcelona supporters with the twenty odd thousand remaining going to men in suits. And those who bought tickets off men in suits.

But if fans can’t get to that game then there is plenty of chance of seeing the sides in the probable two matches in la Liga in 2011, the double-headed Spanish Super Cup and maybe even the Champions League should the two teams be drawn against each other. LLL doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Or both.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Valencia (4th) v Hércules (13th)

Valencia full back, Miguel Brito, certainly didn’t take too kindly to journalists gathering outside the club’s training ground on Thursday after the news had broken that the Portuguese authorities had reportedly charged the defender with violence and illegal possession of a firearm after a scrape at a disco in Portugal in Christmas 2009.

Miguel sped up after signing autographs for fans before sticking his arm out of the window, gasp Marca, and giving the hunting hacks the finger.

LLL Prediction - Home win