The Going-Out-Till-Six Predictions - Round 11

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Tenerife (15th) vs Sevilla (3rd)

Today’s ramble starts in the second division, where La Liga Loca has a sneaky feeling Tenerife might be residing come the start of the next season.

Regular readers of the blog may well recall a team called ‘Betis’ who were relegated, last year.

Well, everyone who loved all that will be thrilled to hear that Betis are currently having a terrible time of it in the badlands of Spain’s second tier, having suffered from a bout of swine ‘flu, experienced falling attendances and a recent run of results that sees the side in 10th with just one win in the last six league games.

And this was the root cause - along with a whole stack of beer, no doubt - of a group of around 25 Betis supporters invading the training ground on Wednesday afternoon, to taunt the players for being ‘mercenaries’, lark about in a vaguely threatening manner before letting off a flare and legging it.

Unsurprisingly, the club have decided to make their sessions closed doors for the rest of the week.

LLL Prediction - Away win

Deportivo (5th) vs Atlético Madrid (18th)

Oh dear. This tie throws together La Liga’s most brutally efficient, defensively tight and brilliantly organised side and Atlético Madrid - the club that is most definitely the ying to the rojiblanco yang.

The week has been a typically peculiar one for the Vicente Calderón club with AS reporting that psychologists specialising in Hollywood wacky, self-help theory “The Secret” are being brought in to talk the relegation-threatened side out of their current malaise.

“It’s not enough that they’re earning millions or making enormous fools of themselves,” argued one cantankerous commentator on the paper’s message board.

“They need even more motivation!”

Club president, Enrique Cerezo, then admitted that his side’s current plight was “the worst in my presidency,” manager Quique Sánchez-Flores caught swine flu and the club was hit by a whopping €150 fine by the Spanish FA for Manuel Pellegrini getting hit by an object during the recent Madrid derby clash.

“Now everyone knows that it is almost free to attack a rival in Spain,” grumbled Marca in Thursday’s editorial.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Real Madrid (2nd) vs Racing (17th)

Although a photo of Guti and Manuel Pellegrini chatting to each other during training is being used as proof in some sections of the Spanish press that the midfielder has been moved off Madrid’s naughty step, La Liga Loca is less than convinced.

After all, it could well have been the Third Choice Chilean returning from his son’s wedding in South America and saying “I thought I told you to p*ss off to Bolton,” to his pea-brained player.

And then kicking him in the knee for good measure, which explains Guti hobbling from Thursday’s training on crutches.

Guti has been out of the Real Madrid squad every since their Alcorcón altercation during the 4-0 defeat, and did not help his case one jot last week by boasting (although he is backtracking a tad on his comments) in a TV interview that, “I’m the type of person who just doesn’t stop, either by day or night.”

However Guti did admit that “I don’t see myself in discos till six like now, when I am 60.”

LLL Prediction - Home win

Athletic Bilbao (8th) vs Barcelona (1st)

La Liga Loca is now wearing its serious trousers - and yes, it does actually have them - to announce that the Basque parliament has passed a bill calling for the return of both the Tour of Spain and the Spanish football team to the region after a bit of an absence.

Because of the somewhat delicate nationalist nature of the area, Spain has not played a game of footie in the Basquelands since 1967 and local politicians would like to see this exile ended.

However, the reaction from local clubs that could possibly host the games has been less than enthusiastic - clubs that, to be fair to them, have a complex political tightrope to walk.

The Athletic Bilbao president, Fernando García Macua, has said that the club’s socios will be the ones to make the decision on whether or not Spain play in San Mamés - if that day ever arose - but he has already canvassed opinion on the topic.

“Some see it as a bad thing... others are indifferent... but generalising is tough,” said Macua.

However, the sometimes member of the Spain squad and Athletic striker Fernando Llorente would have no issues with the concept.

“I love playing with Spain and it doesn’t matter where,” gasped the forward.

LLL Prediction - Draw


Xerez (19th) vs Sporting (7th)

“Beep, beep, beep” went the teleprompter of the satirical show from Thursday night’s TV.

“There’s news from the south!” shouted the presenter pretending to be a Spanish sportscaster. “And it’s a briiiiiiibbbbbbbe” shouted the ‘reporter’ in reply.

Yes, the announcement from Spain’s Attorney General that there are currently 730 open corruption cases against the country’s local politicians has caused much mirth and merriment - but little surprise - across the land.

If this is the mere tip of a back-scratching iceberg, as many feel, then a whole bunch of wrongdoers were hassled on Thursday when a group of Xerez fans turned up at the local town hall to hand in a petition of over 10,000 signatures calling for their help in solving the problems of the local football club.

Xerez is currently on the brink of administration with a debt of €23 million, and some supporters would like someone, somewhere to do something about it.

“We want to defend Xerez as an institution,” said Rafael Castro, one of those who made the trip to voice their concerns.

But unfortunately, as the magic words m‘kickback’ and ‘property deal’ were not used in the presence of their local pen-pushers, La Liga Loca feels that their pleas will probably have fallen on deaf ears.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Villarreal (16th) vs Valladolid (14th)

Valladolid striker Manucho’s promised goal tally for this season... 40.

The number of goals Manucho has managed so far... 1.

The number of matches Manucho has left to score 39 more goals... 26.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Espanyol (9th) vs Getafe (12th)

Thought for the day.

Using last Saturday’s starting formation of 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 for Spain against Argentina as an assumption, would a possible ‘B’ team in a 4-4-2 setup featuring Reina, Arbeloa, Marchena, Albiol, Monreal, Cesc, Senna, Navas, Mata, Torres and Negredo....

a) qualify for the World Cup in its own right?
b) be able to beat England?

LLL Prediction - Draw

Mallorca (6th) vs Almería (11th)

It is no surprise that the Mallorca players should be more than a  little peeved after a ridiculous few months that has seen the club change hands on a number of occasions and led to a month without wages.

The current crisis sees former owner Mateo Alemany back in business at the Balearic club and trying to track down the previous mob who he alleges were up to bad financial jiggering in their very short spell in charge.

All in all, this has left the players fairly unimpressed with the way things currently lie.

Or so says striker Victor on his bosses. “They cheat you, every day, and this makes you feel pretty bad.”

LLL Prediction - Home win

Málaga (20th) vs Zaragoza (13th)

“We prefer to bet on Málaga ahead of Barcelona or Real Madrid,” chirped Henry Birch of William Hill On-line, the English sponsors of Málaga football club during a recent promotional push in Gibraltar.

“These two teams always win, so it’s not so attractive for a bet.”

La Liga Loca is no expert but the blog would suggest that nor is a club that always loses.

Like Málaga, for example.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Osasuna (10th) vs Valencia (4th)

The international break saw the now regular update on Valencia’s disastrous financial situation.

And for those fans of figures out there in blogland, the current debt of the Mestalla club stands at €510 million (or €690m if you count the cost of the new stadium under construction).

“It’s a miracle that we are still going,” admits club Vice President, Javier Gómez.

“Valencia are in a really bad situation, economically. I wouldn’t say ‘ruinous’ as there are ways of getting out of our situation, but we are having a really tough spell.”

LLL Prediction - Away win

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