The Great Weekend Predictions - Round 6
SaturdayVillarreal (2nd) vs Betis (18th)In the same way that seven dog years supposedly equates to 12 months of a human lifespan, 24 hours in Spain works out as roughly 700 years in the rest of the world.Despite having an entire summer to sort out the sale of Betis, there is still no news of whether the mysterious mob behind the BSport consortium will be buying out Darth de LoperaÃ¢ÂÂs majority share in the club.The deadline for the deal is Saturday October 4. If no-one puts their paw print to the contract then the Lord of the Flies will walk away approximately 10 million euros richer, say Marca.Melli, for one, thinks that the big Betis boss ainÃ¢ÂÂt going anyway. Ã¢ÂÂHeÃ¢ÂÂll always be there,Ã¢ÂÂ sighed the defender discussing de Lopera's departure, Ã¢ÂÂand until I see something happening IÃ¢ÂÂm not going to believe it.Ã¢ÂÂ LLL Prediction - Home winBarcelona (5th) vs AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid (7th)La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs Atleti-insider predicted that things would be all right on Wednesday night for the rojiblancos, on the pitch, but would potentially go a little Pete Tong, off it. Hosting a Champions League match can be a bit of an ordeal for any team - but especially for one like AtlÃÂ©tico which has the organisational abilities of, well, AtlÃÂ©tico. Strange men in suits, clutching clipboards, descend on your stadium and start telling you how to go about your business. For this reason, every piece of non-UEFA sanctioned advertising had been covered up in the Vicente CalderÃÂ³n, billions of leaflets were handed to fans asking them not to throw things, start fights or racially abuse players and the scoreboard stopped publishing adverts for lap-dancing clubs.
'If you ain't UEFA-sanctioned, you ain't coming in...'
Indeed, the electronic screen was called into energetic action by showing replays and scores from other Champions League clashes. Unfortunately, it had given up the ghost by the end of the evening and resembled a Tate Modern video installation by showing everything at the same time.The press zone was temporarily moved from the familiar cramped corridor outside a back-filling toilet to the stadium car park, saving numerous potential bust ups between elbow-jostling hacks.All in all it was a roaring success. Aside from the game, that is, which was fine in the first half but a bit rubbish in the second. LLL Prediction - Home winSundayRecreativo (16th) vs Malaga (17th)As the blog bangs away on its keyboard there is still no word as to whether, Malaga bigwig, Lorenzo Sanz will be charged for his alleged involvement in some financial dodgy dealings last week or treated as a witness to the affair. Sanz himself is still continuing to deny his part in the business and declared that he was merely helping out a gentleman called Alvaro Robela with a bank payment in Cordoba. LLL Prediction - Home winGetafe (8th) vs AlmerÃÂa (6th)Those lost souls who go to watch this goalless draw could find themselves up to 60 euros poorer. 60 euros!LLL Prediction - Draw (or 6-5 thriller)Sevilla (4th) vs Athletic Bilbao (12th)Creaky old Joseba Etxeberria either has a) a big fluffy bunny as an agent, b) doesnÃ¢ÂÂt fancy playing for Swansea, or c) is a wonderful, wonderful person whose nobel gesture will bring tears to the cockles of football fansÃ¢ÂÂ hearts all over the world. Etxebe has agreed a deal with an incredulous Athletic Bilbao to play for free next season. Of course, this is not unheard of in Spain as the Levante squad did the same thing last year.
Etxeberria: A wonderful person or thicker than two short planks?
The joint-seizing forward is doing it as a gesture of gratitude for Ã¢ÂÂthe affection I have received over the yearsÃ¢ÂÂ and wants to complete 15 seasons with the club and play 500 games. This topped off a wonderful week for JoaquÃÂn CaparrÃÂ³s who also received what appears to be a garden gnome from the good people of Bilbao.Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm happy about the honour but today is a bad day,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted JoaquÃÂn on Monday, hours after the sideÃ¢ÂÂs home defeat to Getafe.LLL Prediction - Home winMallorca (9th) vs Sporting (20th)Two wins in a row has skyrocketed a lacklustre-looking Mallorca into ninth place. Not that this stunning success will be rushing to the heads of those Balearic battlers, oh no. Ã¢ÂÂWe have to keep our feet on the ground,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted Enrique Corales under the impression that his side had just won 8-0 in Old Trafford as opposed to having beaten Racing 2-1. LLL Prediction - Home win.Osasuna (14th) vs Racing (19th)If paying spectators donÃ¢ÂÂt end up running out of this match screaming Ã¢ÂÂMy eyes! My eyes!Ã¢ÂÂ La Liga Loca will be very, very surprised. LLL Prediction - Draw
"Make it stop..."
Deportivo (13th) vs Numancia (15th)When Fernando Alonso won the Singapore GP last week, he commented that it was Ã¢ÂÂas if Numancia had beaten Barcelona or Madrid.Ã¢ÂÂ La Liga Loca cannot decide if this was an insult to Numancia or his own F1 team. No matter, Numancia have leapt upon this crumb of positive publicity to send the big-chinned race-loser a shirt and tempt him from yet another day of shagging supermodels on yachts by inviting him to a match. LLL Prediction - Home winValladolid (11th) vs Valencia (1st)If La Liga Loca was Unai Emery it would have fielded the clubÃ¢ÂÂs ball boys in Thursday nightÃ¢ÂÂs UEFA Cup match against Maritimo. Instead the men from Mestalla live on to fight another day in a tournament that reached its peak in 1981.LLL Prediction - DrawReal Madrid (3rd) vs Espanyol (10th)Poor Bernado. Despite winning six games in row - his best record on the Bernabeu bench - and managing the teamÃ¢ÂÂs first Champions League away victory for almost two years - there are still those in and around the club looking to have a pop at the moustachioed maestro.Apparently, the clubÃ¢ÂÂs directors - clearly more important than anyone-else in the Real Madrid world - were upset by the fact they were told by Schuster that he would be fielding the same line-up that beat Betis.
Schuster: Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't
Instead, Bernado dropped RaÃÂºl - a capital offence for some Real Madrid fans - and perhaps won a tactical advantage over Zenit by allowing the far speedier HiguaÃÂn, Robben and Ruud to play fairly effective counter-attacking football.Sport say that this has lead to pressure from above to let Schuster go at the end of his current contract, which is set to expire this summer. And thatÃ¢ÂÂs something that would make Pedja Mijatovic break into a big, big smile. La Liga Loca is not sure the world is ready for that. LLL Prediction - Home win