The Flame-proof Weekend Predictions - Round 35

Saturday

Sevilla (3rd) vs Mallorca (9th)

With Raúl reportedly pondering the opportunity to disappear in crucial clashes for Man City next season with a four-year, 40-million-Euro offer on the table, it’s good to see that there is at least one footballer in la Liga who still stands by the lofty concept of loyalty.

That fine, upstanding hero of the people is Sevilla’s Adriano, who has dismissed the idea of a move to Inter Milan over the summer.

“I’m only thinking about Sevilla,” insisted the Brazilian full-back. “I’m happy here and have extended my contract to 2014. I hope to be playing in the Champions League with the club next season.”

Well, big brass knobs to Adriano for his clear statement of intent to stay put at the Sanchez Pizjuán. “I told my agent that I won’t talk to any club until the league is over,” said the sentence-finishing Adriano. And he was doing so well.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Athletic (11th) vs Betis (15th)

Athletic president Fernando Garcia Macua - the man with possibly the heftiest side-parting in the planet - was in action at some kind of suit-attending sporting gabfest on Thursday.

And AS were there too, to report on a Q&A session involving a group of schoolchildren and the bigwig from Bilbao.

“What result would you like in the final?” asked one kiddie on next week’s Copa del Rey clash with Barcelona - a question so stunningly insightful that AS immediately cleared out Tomás Roncero’s desk to make way for their new scoopmeister.


Very much on the mind

Athletic are tipped to be fielding a team of reserves in Saturday’s clash, but that will still be good enough to beat a Betis side who are just happy to be on their travels.

“When we play in front of our own fans, we’re afraid to lose,” confessed midfield maestro Emana.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Valencia (4th) vs Real Madrid (2nd)

For Marca, it was almost too good to be true. Almost.

Ramón Calderón being accused by two judges of evildoings at the club’s infamous General Assembly in December and the super-dodgy postal vote part of the presidential election from 2006.

“Ramón Calderón could be thrown into jail,” yelled Thursday’s edition as it pored over the accusations concerning last year’s AGM. “And Bárcena and Nanín could be his cellmates,” continued the paper on his alleged conspirators.

Unsurprisingly, Marca is being a little liberal with the truth on this particular point. Current Real Madrid president Vicente Boluda has also been implicated in the plot to rig the vote of December’s gathering, according to Madrid judge Santiago Torres.

And this causes a bit of a dilemma for the paper, which has been happily praising the paunchy president for his sterling leadership since Calderón’s departure in January.

The question now is whether Marca can happily continue to attack “the worst president in the club’s history” whilst backing Boluda, a man who must also go before the courts on May 20 to explain himself?

The answer is yes they can and yes they will.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Sunday

Getafe (17th) vs Osasuna (16th)

Despite Michel’s failure to win on his managerial debut for Getafe last weekend, the local papers are still hyping up the hopeless coach and his training sessions where “neither the ball nor laughter is absent,” according to AS.

The club has been calling for fans to back the team through their “four finals” in the fight against relegation. But it’s a tough sell, considering the locals barely bother to follow the club even when they are doing well.


"Hello? Is there anybody out there?"

“It isn’t only good fun to come to the stadium when Bayern are here,” promised full-back David Cortés as he called for a good turnout on Sunday.

Quite right, says La Liga Loca. The visit of some knee-knacking, card-collecting, long-ball merchants from Pamplona can be a big barrel of fun, too.

LLL Prediction - Away win

Recreativo (19th) vs Deportivo (7th)

Seventh!

Valladolid (12th) vs Numancia (20th)

One of the sides that La Liga Loca has crossed all its particulars for in the hope that they will be replacing Numancia next season is Rayo Vallecano - simply because the Madrid-based blog is immensely lazy and feels that all teams in la Liga should be based within a 25-minute walk from its front door.

Unfortunately, two recent defeats have been a bit of a setback for the Vallecans, who are currently lying fifth in the Segunda.

They have also been on the receiving end of yet more fines from the Spanish FA, which appears to have it in for the left-leaning rascals from the wrong side of town.

In the past week alone the club has been hit with a 10,000 Euro penalty for “failing to prevent the display of non-flameproof banners in the north stand.”

And that’s on top of the a 4,250 Euro fine for “failing to prevent the introduction of a 50cl beer can onto the pitch.”

In April, Rayo were nailed royally with a sanction of 11,000 Euro for allowing their Ultras to store banners and a megaphone in the stadium. Something that never, ever, ever happens at the Bernabeu and the Vicente Calderón, of course.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Málaga (8th) vs Racing (13th)

Racing Santander coach Juan Ramón López Muñiz has come up with a novel way of motivating his players to grab three points on Sunday and safety for another season.

“We are working with the idea that there’s a league with just four matches left,” he revealed, “and that the Competition Committee have given us a five-point lead.”

Indeed, it’s an idea so brilliant that La Liga Loca hears that Real Madrid will be proposing it as the official format for la Primera next season.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Almería (10th) vs Sporting (18th)

Rather than run around in the lovely spring sunshine, the Sporting players have opted for closing the curtains, dusting off the projector, donning the silver-foil sunhats and picking out every mistake made by the referee in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Athletic.

After playing and rewinding the tape more times that Maniche watching a Mr Kipling advert, Sporting’s Iván Cuellar declared that referee Teixeira Vitienes should be suspended for his poor performance.

“It’s the same that would happen to footballers,” complained the gaffe-prone goalkeeper on the match which saw his side lose their lead in the last minute to their Basque opponents.

Next up on the Sporting cinema will be a study into why CIA-trained seagulls were to blame for the club’s previous six defeats.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Barcelona (1st) vs Villarreal (6th)

Perhaps the biggest losers in Barcelona’s current run are the poor old street-cleaners of the Catalan capital, who are having to renovate the city centre every few days now.

On Saturday, both they and the riot police were out in force to sort out the mess after the victory against Real Madrid. And they were back again on Wednesday after Iniesta’s super strike against Chelsea.


"Sparkling!"

Brooms will be on standby for another busy week with the chance of a league title triumph on Sunday and a Copa del Rey victory a few days later.

La Liga Loca has been told that, should there be a mauling of Manchester United in three weeks' time, plans are afoot for airdrops of bleach over Barcelona.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Atlético Madrid (5th) vs Espanyol (14th)

It’s been Olympic week in Spain’s big smoke with the city on its best behaviour as it presented its bid for the 2016 games to a delegation from the IOC.

And that’s why Forlán, Kun Agüero and Maxi - proud Spaniards to a man - were at the location of their proposed new ground and Olympic Stadium site at 8.30 on Wednesday morning to meet and greet the visiting inspectors.

The international party completed a footballing double by dropping by the Bernabeu later in the day to be greeted by... no-one.

AS reports that Real Madrid captains Raúl, Guti and Salgado had been instructed to come to the gathering at the ground at 17.30.

The trouble was that they were not told this until 12.30, leaving them unwilling to undertake the 10-minute drive from their homes, what with important Playstation business at hand.

LLL Prediction - Away win

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