The Great Weekend Predictions – Round 23

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Murcia (18th) v Villarreal (4th)

This week's winner of La Liga Loca's 'liar, liar pants on fire' award goes to Murcia president, Jesús Samper, with his suspiciously sumptuous support for current coach, Lucas Alcaraz.

"When we signed him, it was because we had confidence in him to lead our project. We continue to have confidence in him," reassured the Murcian big man as he thumbed through his address book. "We will keep on going with him until the end of the season."

All in all, it's the kind of unbending backing that now makes Lucas Alcaraz the blog's firm favourite to be the next Primera coaching casualty. And it could be as soon as Monday, if Murcia lose their fourth in a row against Villarreal, on Saturday night. Away win.

Deportivo (17th) v Getafe (13th)

Michael Laudrup is still fulfilling the role as the most amiable man in Spanish football with some aplomb. Although with Lord of Doom, Miguel Angel Lotina and Master of Misery, Bernd Schuster, as competition, it's not a tough task for the Getafe manager.

When faced with the late arrival of Ikechukwu Uche from the African Cup of Nations due to the striker's sister being ill and him missing a whole bunch of planes, Laudrup joked that, "he couldn't get back for training, but did for lunch! What luck!"

Later, when quizzed about the increasingly odd behaviour of Luis Aragones - who is resembling Viva La Bam's, Don Vito, to such an extent that Marca will soon be putting alligators in his kitchen for laughs - Laudrup simply shrugged and admitted, "I don't understand him. But I'm Danish."


Sevilla (7th) v Barcelona (2nd)

Barcelona simply won't be the same club, next season. Not because we will probably be waving a fond farewell to Frankie and saying adios to a departing 'dinho, but because Citizen Oleguer could well be packing his Catalan cases and leaving, too. 

"It's a question of common sense," said the bearded battler, this week, on the possibility of his departure to find first team football and a new forum for his defensive stylings.

However, the current front runners to sign up the class warrior have raised a few eyebrows.

Lazio, a club with the most unpleasant fans on earth judging by the Nazi-saluting mob seen by La Liga Loca, last year at the Bernabeu, are leading the way for his signature in what could end up being the biggest disaster since José Antonio Reyes last attempted to tie his own shoelaces. Home win. 

Osasuna (16th) v Zaragoza (10th)

Ronaldo, Cassano, Maniche and now Andrés d'Alessandro. Just what is a blog with only three (admittedly poor) gags to do, if all the league's frivolous figures of fun keep leaving these shores?

The latest to potter off from the Primera is the former Portsmouth, Wolfsburg and Zaragoza midfielder – a player with a gob with a mind of his own, the brain of squirrel and a penchant for wearing tampons in his hair.

Andrés has now gone back to Argentina and will be starting fights for the next few seasons at San Lorenzo. And he has nothing but kind words for the Spanish hacks he will be leaving behind. "The press wanted to use me as some kind of crazy loon," he

Quite accurately, in fact. Home win.

Athletic Bilbao (15th) v Levante (20th)

Asier del Horno and Fran Yeste have a bit of a reputation in Spain for being found of a Big Night Out. And that's all fine and dandy if your team are striding across Europe like a giant footballing colossus. But not, if your team is Athletic Bilbao.

This week, it was revealed that the club are opening an investigation into reports that the terrible twosome and Zubiarre were out making merry until the early hours of the morning on 28th January, breaking the club's internal code.

"What is happening stays between the club and us," hiccupped Yeste - a player who used to be good, once. "I've made mistakes and always admitted them," declared the unrepentant midfielder to Marca, who reported that he was on the brink of blubbing like a big baby during the interview.

Meanwhile, over in Levante, unpaid but still scoring striker, Mustapha Riga decided to protest against his pecuniary position by singing a reggae song he wrote himself during training. And it came with a dance, too, apparently.

"The club won't pay me. They won't break my contract and I will have to sleep in the offices or in the stadium," wailed Riga to stunned team-mates. Home win.

Racing Santander (6th) Atlético Madrid (5th)

If Javier Aguirre was not preoccupied by rumours of his imminent firing then he would be more than a little concerned at Kun Agüero hanging out with his new bessie mate – Diego Maradona.

The currently crocked striker is said to be dating Diego's daughter and that is bringing him into close contact with his hand-balling hero. "I see my reflection when I see Agüero," confessed Maradona on his latest hallucinations. Draw.

Mallorca (11th) v Almería (8th)

If Unai Emery is looking a little bleary-eyed from the bench, on Sunday, it will be because he is still recovery from a six hour session held between the club, himself and his agent to thrash out a new deal.

Emery, who is quite the man of the moment in Spain, is studying a deal which would offer him more powers than any other coach in the history of the Primera, apparently. He may even be allowed to sign players! Home win.

Espanyol (3rd) v Recreativo (19th)

There was a sight to strike fear into the hardest of footballing hearts at Espanyol's training ground, on Thursday - Steven McClaren. But do not be afraid poor Pericos, the club is not contemplating swapping Ernesto Valverde for England's former finest.

Instead, the mistake-making manager was in town visiting his buddy, Paco Herrera, Espanyol's sporting director. Or was he? Home win.

Real Madrid (1st) v Valladolid (12th)

Wow. AS really know how to make a visitor welcome in Spain. On Friday, the paper ran an interview with Real Madrid's latest signing, Daniel Opare, a 17-year-old superstar from Ghana.

"What worries you more: the loneliness, cold or racist abuse?" questioned the paper  as the previously chirpy chappy's face fell faster than Ramón Calderón's when he caught sight of legendary footballer fancier, Frau Schuster, turning up for training on Thursday. Home win.

Valencia (9th) v Betis (14th)

When questioned on whether he would be holding elections some time soon - something that he is legally obliged to do - Spanish Federation president, Angel María Villar, claimed that had no intention of putting all those free lunches into jeopardy until after the European Championships.

"They are all psychopaths," declared Spain's big cheese on his opponents. The trouble is that some of them can be found in FIFA, who could well throw Spain and all Spanish clubs out of international competitions if Villar continues to dig his heels in.

But this isn't something that will affect either Valencia or Betis, anytime soon. Home win.