The knee-rubbing, thigh-maiming weekend Primera predictions


Valencia (3rd) v Sporting (16th)

If the wind blows in the right direction for Sporting, this season, it could be a painful summer for goalscoring hero-boy, David Barral. The forward, who won Sporting a point against Barça last Saturday, has revealed what he would do should his side stay in la Primera this season. “I’ll get the Sporting badge tattooed onto my thigh as the club has given me a lot and I’m grateful.”

Meanwhile in Mestalla, a week wouldn’t be complete without a player have a whine and a moan to the press. This time around it was Juan Mata, who claimed he was fit and ready to play against Schalke on Tuesday despite an ankle knock that has seen the Valencia forward missing the past couple of weeks of action.

LLL Prediction - Home win.

Real Madrid (2nd) v Levante (15th)

“Come in number four! Your time is up!” - that’s the message from José Mourinho at the moment with the Madrid manager choosing to drop Sergio Ramos to the bench for last weekend’s Espanyol game to give Alvaro Arbeloa a starting role.

This switch came just a few days after Mourinho claimed in an interview with Real Madrid TV that the player at the club he most admired was the former Liverpool fullback, for being blessed with his big managerial love - consistency.

“I can say that Arbeloa is the type of player who may not impress people because he isn’t Maradona or Zidane, but he has never played a six, he is always a seven or nine,” mused the Special One.

Unfortunately, the nearest that Sergio Ramos will get to a score of nine this season is in his red card tally over the course of the campaign. If he ever plays, that is.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Zaragoza (17th) v Atlético Madrid (11th)

If there’s one gentleman rubbing his hands, knees and everything else that’s legal to jiggle in public, it’s Zaragoza coach, Javier Aguirre. Two years ago, the Mexican manager was fired by Atleti’s dithering duo, Enrique Cerezo and Miguel Angel Gil (who's on €1.35m a year according to an Atlético opposition group) due to his league record of just 32 points from 21 matches. The current muggins in charge at the Vicente Calderón, Quique Sánchez Flores, has managed a measly in comparison 30 points from 23 rounds, spelling 'danger, danger, high voltage' for the eye-liner wearing one.

Knowing the potty-mouthed, grumpy guts tendencies of Aguirre, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a handshake of consolation for Quique after a Zaragoza victory and a swift middle finger to his former bosses straight after.

LLL Prediction - Home win


Getafe (7th) v Racing Santander (13th)

Normally LLL is desperately trawling the news sites for something vaguely exciting to say about Racing Santander. Once, the blog even reported a story concerning a local fountain that had been cleaned up in case the fans ever needed a rallying point for a great victory. More public money gone to waste, really.

But those days are gone, gone, gone ever since Ahsan Ali Syed took over the club. This week LLL is opting to cover the wild, boogie-wonderland celebrations of Racing’s new owner after the Sevilla victory that had Marca tutting over the Indian businessman’s lack of “manners and courtesy.” AS show much more humanity and humour by commenting that “looking at his happy face nobody thought that his actions had malevolent intent.”

Ali Syed responded to the storm in a thimble by making a public apology to Sevilla president, José María Del Nido, who was sat a couple of seats away and looked most peeved indeed. “It’s natural to show joy when your team plays and wins,” explained the Racing boss. 

The problem there is that Del Nido has completely forgotten what that feels like.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Villarreal (4th) v Málaga (20th)

“We are going to Naples to change our image,” claimed Joan Capdevila ahead of Villarreal’s Europa league tie, so the fullback would probably consider the evening as mission accomplished with Villarreal picking up a goalless draw in the refuse-rotting capital of Europe.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Almería (19th) v Deportivo (14th)

And so Miguel Angel Lotina survives as Deportivo boss to bore everyone to death for another day. After a set-piece inspired 1-0 win over Villarreal last week, Depor now travel to another relegation-threatened club in the shape of Almería. However, Lotina says he is ready for a bus load more stress if necessary. “If I have one quality, it’s that I am one of the coaches who best handles pressure,” boasted Lotina.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Osasuna (18th) v Espanyol (6th)

José Antonio Camacho has gone but José Luis Mendilibar has arrived to lead Osasuna into a bright new future, returning to the side the laudable values admired and loved by watchers of the Pamplona based club all over the world - violence and thuggery.

“I’m the best coach for Osasuna’s style” boasted Mendilibar during his unveiling on Wednesday, “fighting and aggression.” LLL, for one, cannot wait to see Osasuna going back to basics.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Sevilla (8th) v Hércules (12th)

It’s been a week of defeatist, chin-offering talk from Sevilla’s veteran forwards, with Luis Fabiano once again saying that he wants out of the club having only just signed a contract keeping him in. “I had offers from Corinthians, Santos, Internacional, some to buy and some for a loan, but the club wouldn’t negotiate,” complained the these days less-than-fab Fabiano over the winter window transfer activity. 

Freddie Kanouté cranked up the negativity by agreeing with everyone else in Spain that a Champions League place is a busted flush this year for Sevilla. with the Andalusian side 14 points away from the G-spots. “We have to be realistic and think that our objective is to go for the Europa League,” mused the mighty Malian forward.

That goal has been eased a bit as it looks like Sevilla might be slipping out of this year’s competition after going down 2-1 at home in their first leg tie against Porto giving them plenty of rest time for their new challenge in la Liga.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Barcelona (1st) v Athletic Bilbao (5th)

Barça fans often have rather delicate sensibilities - the smug cloud over the Catalan capital seems to have an impact in other parts of the world - so this makes it excellent sport to give Pep’s Dream Boys a good old kicking on the rare occasions that things aren’t going so well for them just to see the culé collective get a bit uppity.

That’s why LLL is declaring CRISIS IN THE CAMP NOU after the draw against Sporting and defeat to Arsenal. Sadly, the blog is the only organ doing so - even Marca and AS are going easy with their coverage. The former even attempts analysis and does a good job of it to and notes that whenever Barça slip up it’s down to the absence of Carles Puyol.

However the paper then lets itself down a bit by musing that the drop in form is due to it being February - a poor month for Pep, normally - Guardiola signing his contract leading to complacency and Piqué getting jiggy with Shakira.

Mundo Deportivo save the best reason for last with Friday’s edition noting that whenever they feel Barça have been hard done to by refs in Europe, they are apparently the buddies of José Mourinho.

LLL thinks the crisis may be down to a few language issues in the camp.

LLL Prediction - Home win


Real Sociedad (9th) v Mallorca (10th)

Don’t care.

LLL Prediction - Home win, whatever.