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Getafe hoping to catch Barça still in their nighties in early kick-off

FourFourTwo.com's man in Spain, Tim Stannard, casts an eye over the upcoming action in la Primera...

Saturday

Mallorca (19th) v Osasuna (17th) - 16.00 (all kick-offs local time)
And so it came to pass - Mallorca bid a fond farewell to Joaquín Caparrós after a stint of just over a year which saw the club challenging for a European spot last season, but racing like clueless puppies towards relegation this time around. The 3-0 defeat at Real Sociedad saw patience run out in the
Balearics, and a joint press conference was held on Monday with majority shareholder and Vice President, Lorenzo Serra Ferrer, sitting alongside Jokin in a joint goodbye. âÂÂI have no doubt we signed a great coach and are saying goodbye to a better person and a better coach,â fluffed Serra Ferrer.
Coming back for his third managerial spell at the club is Gregorio Manzano, who was Mallorca coach pre-Caparrós and pre-Laudrup and was unveiled on Tuesday. Unfortunately, there was a less than a joyful response to ManzanoâÂÂs arrival, with calls for the coachâÂÂs sacking made already due to his acrimonious departure in 2010 and subsequent legal battle over supposedly unpaid wages.
LLL Prediction - Home win

Celta Vigo (18th) v Valencia (6th) - 18.00
A curious week for Valencia. Ever Banega turned up late for training last Friday, a little worse for wear, but then scored against Barcelona two days later. The vital Sofiane Feghouli is back from Africa Cup of Nations duty but returns facing possible criminal charges for driving about town without a license. After that, manager Ernesto Valverde was forced to fine himself for not turning up to WednesdayâÂÂs training after a morning flight from Bilbao was cancelled.
Meanwhile, David Albelda has announced that there was a âÂÂ90%-95%â chance of the midfielder leaving Valencia, but that heâÂÂs not retiring. âÂÂMy idea would be to try abroad. IâÂÂm not thinking about Spain.â LLL suggests another option and a club not too far away from Mestalla in the city which has a predilection for grizzled old war horses, that can also be a bit dirty on the side.
LLL Prediction - Draw

Levante (9th) v Málaga (4th) - 20.00
MálagaâÂÂs sale of Nacho Monreal to Arsenal is already starting to bite back, with stand-in left back Eliseu suffering a ligament knack and set to miss the clash against Levante. It echoes a complaint from Manuel Pellegrini before last weekâÂÂs Zaragoza draw that âÂÂ(MonrealâÂÂs) departure is very sad for the  team. I understand you have to balance the economic side, but itâÂÂs affecting the sporting aspect a lot.âÂÂ
The ChileanâÂÂs bosses also spoke to the media to explain what was a very sudden move in selling the defender for a fee that was too good to turn down. âÂÂNo club can have players they canâÂÂt pay,â explained Mario Husillos, MálagaâÂÂs sporting director. âÂÂWe have to drop the salary base. We have more costs than income.âÂÂ
LLL Prediction - Draw 

Deportivo (20th) v Granada (16th) - 22.00
Uh oh, the fans are revolting. Some Deportivo supporters went along to Monday's training session to have a moan at a group of footballers who find themselves bottom of the table. Then it was the federation of supporters groups who issued a communication/rant against said players, who are firmly blamed for the teamâÂÂs current predicament. âÂÂThe fans demand the maximum effort. Deeds not promises, but above all that we give everything...â and so on and so on.
Despite the sanctimonious nature of the moan, Depor striker Riki seems to agree with the tone, saying that the footballers have indeed been letting themselves and everyone else down of late, especially during last weekâÂÂs 3-1 defeat at Getafe. âÂÂWe felt ashamed for the people who had travelled to see us there and who suffered because of what happened. We didnâÂÂt compete for 90 minutes and that can finish you off in the Primera division,â admitted a player who has gone five months without being paid, according to Marca. âÂÂWe donâÂÂt know anything,â said Riki on when wages might start to reappear.
LLL - Home win

Real Madrid (3rd) v Sevilla (11th) - 22.00
Remember promising winger, Diego Perotti? These days, the Argentine is known as 'the permanently crocked Diego Perotti', with the Sevilla player having suffered seven injuries over the past two years, including back and cruciate ligament twangs. Unsurprisingly, the 24-year-old has had quite enough of this and is looking to spend a bit of time on loan in Argentina to help get his head and body back together. âÂÂIâÂÂm looking for a solution to my problem,â admitted Perotti. âÂÂI want to stay in Argentina for personal reasons aside from football. IâÂÂm broken in spirit and morale,â admitted the suffering Sevilla star.
LLL Prediction - Home win

Sunday

Barcelona (1st) v Getafe (12th) - 12.00
Even Real Madrid have had to play at midday once a season - and with great success in terms of results and attendance - so itâÂÂs about time Barcelona took one for the television team, too. For the first time in 28 years, the Catalan club will be taking to field on what is still considered the early hours of Sunday morning in Spain. The team trying to catch Barça still in their nighties will be Getafe, who played at the same time in the Santiago Bernabéu a couple of weeks ago. Still, this hasnâÂÂt prevented striker ÃÂlvaro Vasquez from joking and joshing about having to get up before nine in the morning. âÂÂLetâÂÂs see if I can get some sleep...but IâÂÂm sure weâÂÂll approach it like any other game.
LLL Prediction - Home win

Zaragoza (15th) v Real Sociedad (8th) - 17.00
Even before la RealâÂÂs 3-0 victory over Mallorca last weekend moved the San Sebastian club into eighth, two points off the Champions League places, there were still doubts over whether the current boss Philippe Montanier would be around to lead the side into Europe, should Real Sociedad eventually end up there in the upcoming campaign.
The contract of the Frenchman expires at the end of the season, and thereâÂÂs still no word on whether Montanier will carry on despite fulfilling everything thatâÂÂs required of the coach at the club and a little bit more besides. All that the Real Sociedad president would admit that there had not been âÂÂany contacts with any coach,â in regards to the future. âÂÂMontanier has not been in danger for any part of the season, â revealed a kindly Jokin Aperribay. âÂÂIn fact, his relationship with la Real gets better every day. WeâÂÂll see who the coach is next year.âÂÂ
LLL Prediction - Home win

Athletic Bilbao (13th) v Espanyol (14th) - 19.00
Poor Fernando Llorente is looking like being even more of an outcast at Athletic than before, thanks partly to a revealing interview published in last SundayâÂÂs AS - an isolation booth dangling above the stadium is the next move perhaps. âÂÂAt Athletic, theyâÂÂve had enough of the attitude and way of behaving of Llorente who is provoking the indignation of the clubâÂÂs management with his declarations,â squealed Marca.
The forward admitted that the decision to leave the club was fully realised when he was booed during the sideâÂÂs opening Europa League clash of the season after stories appeared in the local press that the Juventus bound striker was demanding an awful lot of money to stay. âÂÂThatâÂÂs when I knew I had to go.âÂÂ
Llorente, a kindly soul deep down, also blames pressure from within the region for his decision to head to Serie A, noting that âÂÂcertain local media have been attacking me day after day.âÂÂ
LLL Prediction - Home win

Rayo Vallecano (7th) v Atlético Madrid (2nd) - 21.00
The future of Diego Simeone is becoming clearer - sort of. The Atlético managerâÂÂs contract runs out this summer, and seeing as the Argentine has been reasonably successful in his 14 month spell at the Vicente Calderón, everyone would quite like El Cholo to sign on for more fun as soon as possible.
WednesdayâÂÂs edition of AS insists that the deal will be completed this month, with the only disagreements at the moment being in regards to assurances from AtléticoâÂÂs owners that the current squad wonâÂÂt be dismantled. âÂÂAt the moment, heâÂÂs the soul of the club,â admitted AtletiâÂÂs Sporting Director, José Luis Caminero, to Marca, âÂÂwe are having conversations with him every day.âÂÂ
LLL Prediction - Away win

Monday

Betis (5th) v Valladolid (10th) - 21.30
The problem with Betis this season, is that the side is outperforming its existing resources by about three league places. This leaves everyone in Seville getting a bit panic stricken when Betis have a relatively poor run in la Liga. On this occasion it consists of a draw and two defeats, although the fact that there hasnâÂÂt been a goal from open play in those matches doesnâÂÂt look fantastic.
In an interview with Marca, Pepe Mel, patiently tries to explain to fans that survival is still aim number one for his club, and then maybe European qualification. âÂÂFor the moment, the Betis objective is to beat Valladolid and nothing more. â The part-time author also has a little something to say on the problems of running a football team in the chaos of the Spanish League. âÂÂItâÂÂs very hard to organise a week when you donâÂÂt know when or at what time you are going to be playing.â Picky pants, says LLL.
LLL Prediction - Home win

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