The Format-busting Predictions: Round 5

Round three of la Primera finished just a day before round four which finished just two days before the start of round five. La Liga Loca hasnâÂÂt seen this much frenzied, frenetic activity in Spain since Ever Banega hacked into Angelina JoliecâÂÂs laptop webcam.

So thatâÂÂs why LLL must launch a format-busting blog into the choppy seas of cyberspace this Friday as it both reviews what has gone and previews what is set to pass. String-theory style in the house, rude-boy.

LLLâÂÂs most recent ramblings concerned the Barcelona press moaning about the absence of Leo Messi for the next month and calling for the tarring and feathering of Tomás Ujfalusi and the Madridista mob carrying on with the normal nonsense of moaning about games being won by José Mourinho without the necessary panache that the cultured Castle Greyskull regulars demand. 

However, the blog is not entirely sure how this debate descended into the fully-grown man-child from AS Tomás Roncero shouting âÂÂweâÂÂve won more titles! weâÂÂve won more titles! weâÂÂve won more titles!â into the face of a blustering colleague from the Catalan press on a talk show on Wednesday night - something witnessed by a LLL spy newly arrived into the country and who is now considering leaving it again.

In the real world, Barcelona had just beaten Sporting 1-0 with David Villa taking the unusual but amusing step of feigning wiping his backside with the flag of his former - and supposedly beloved - team from Asturias after scoring the winning goal. âÂÂF**k âÂÂem and their stupid cider obsession,â was his boisterous response in the mixed zone.

The performance at the Camp Nou was not a classic one from Barcelona, with much of the shooting wide or over the bar - but it was effective nonetheless. A bit like Real MadridâÂÂs the previous night in actual fact, not that the Barcelona press will admit that as theirâÂÂs was a different kind of UNICEF-sponsored, home-grown, La Masia effective.

âÂÂA match to pick up points and forget about,â wrote Josep María Casanovas in Sport.

Levante caused a whopping upset by winning away at Almería to leave home side manager, Juanma Lillo, on the brink of being sacked according to ThursdayâÂÂs press. The Almería boss now has to pull a win up in La Coruña against Deportivo out of his rucksack, on Sunday. âÂÂI donâÂÂt like how this team is playing at all,â grumbled club president, Alfonso García.

Hércules travelled to Zaragoza and held the home side to a goalless draw. But the big match of the evening was AtléticoâÂÂs visit to Mestalla which saw another draw - all be it with goals from Simao and Aritz Aduriz - which seemed a perfectly fair result to La Liga Loca.

The blog headed down to Getafe on Thursday night to see the Coliseum club being thrashed by an impressive, counter-attacking Málaga with Míchel admitting after the game that there was no way of stopping them. One of the best players on the pitch was former Arsenal winger Quincy Owusu-Abeyie who gave the biggest of grins in a post match natter when reminded that he would be running at Marcelo in a few weeks time.

Deportivo made it five league games without a goal from open play in a 1-0 defeat at Villarreal, whilst Sevilla blew what looked like a home banker against Racing with a 1-1 draw that ended with Andrés Palop getting into a slanging match with a furious fan after the encounter.

âÂÂThere was a fan behind us who has been insulting us throughout games from the start of the season,â explained the Sevilla goalkeeper. âÂÂAfter the match I politely told him to stop insulting us, support us and so we can do our jobs better.âÂÂ

On Saturday, the Primera circus trundles of again with Real Madrid heading to a born-again Levante, a side which still owes a good â¬61m to creditors but which has a crazy plan to sell the land their current stadium is built on and construct a new arena to pay it off. As seen with their neighbours, Valencia, nothing can possibly go wrong with that strategy.

The current Levante president, Quico Catalán, is just 34 but already has the slicked backed hair and the signs of a jowly neck thatâÂÂs so prominent with his presidential contemporaries elsewhere in la Liga.

Nestled before that clash itâÂÂs Valencia visiting Sporting where the blogâÂÂs hero of the week, César Sánchez, will still be feeling very pleased with himself indeed - and a little less tense - with the Valencia keeper having torn a new one for the aforementioned Tomás Roncero on live TV by coming over all with the payback over comments made when Sánchez was at Madrid where he was compared unfavourably to Iker Casillas by the AS man.

âÂÂYou donâÂÂt have to kill one player to praise another,â fumed César Sánchez. âÂÂIker is going to be a legend of world football...someone with your superior intelligence obviously saw this very quickly,â goaded the goalie to the increasingly blustery and sweating Roncero.

The final game of the night has Barcelona heading up to Bilbao to take on Athletic, a match that Leo Messi is probably quite looking forward to skipping considering he received an unpunished high-kick to the face from Fernando Amorebieta in one recent encounter.

Sunday evening is a fairly uninspiring one with Atlético Madrid ending the proceedings with a home tie against Zaragoza. But as the current trend is for football every single day of the week, round five stretches into Monday night and the admittedly tasty looking tie between Málaga and the rather fine looking Villarreal lead by an excited GiuseppeRossi22 who declared on Thursday night - âÂÂa great victory tonight...letâÂÂs keep it up.âÂÂ

Judging by what LLL saw in Getafe, that might be a big ask for the Yellow Submarine.

Round 5 Predictions

Sporting v Valencia - Draw
Levante v Real Madrid - Away win
Athletic Club v Barcelona - Home win
Racing v Getafe - Home win
Deportivo v Almería - Home win
Espanyol v Osasuna - Home win
Mallorca v Real Sociedad - Draw
Hércules v Sevilla - Draw
Atlético v Zaragoza - Home win
Málaga v Villarreal - Home win

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