La Liga Loca's bottle-chucking, wheeler-dealing weekend predictions

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Villarreal (3rd) v Osasuna (15th)

Juanfran’s departure for Atlético Madrid means that there is no-one left in the Osasuna squad who can whack in those beloved hoofed balls into the box for the side on Saturday evening. Then again, an injury to Walter Pandiani means that there’s no-one there to get on the end of them, any way.

Meanwhile, Villarreal’s Cani got his red card rescinded after the footballer half-heartedly chucked a bottle in José Mourinho’s direction, last weekend, in response to the maniac Madrid manager’s technical area invasion, allowing the midfielder to take part - and score - in his side’s wonderfully insane 3-3 draw against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey, on Wednesday.

LLL Prediction - Home win (a big one)

Getafe (7th) v Real Sociedad (12th)

As Getafe tend to buy low and sell high - the direct opposite of Real Madrid, rather neatly - the club has become quite the minx in the transfer market with the kind of wheeling and dealing that would leave Harry Redknapp breathless - before telling you curtly to eff off when asked his opinion on the club’s prowess, no doubt.

Getafe have already been the busiest of beavers by snapping up a couple of out-of-contract freebies for next summer. The first is striker, Diego Castro, from Sporting who could well be replacing Juan Albín, with the forward perhaps moving to Italy for a juicy fee.

The second player who looks set to join the Coliseum ranks in June is Deportivo midfielder, Juan Rodríguez, who is likely to fill the boots of the rather excellent Derek Boateng. But in even better news for the club, this week, it was announced that Javier Arizmendi is set to be out of action until March to the response of hats being thrown into the air in Getafe town centre.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Real Zaragoza (20th) v Levante (17th)

If Zaragoza owner, Agapito Iglesias, was given a dog to look after then the puppy social services would take away the squealing, mewling creature within days. Unfortunately, no such service exists for football clubs in Spain. If that were the case then Atlético Madrid would have become the oldest foster child in the world.

The construction magnate (what else) follows the ever so fashionable policy of not paying his players and then hiring and firing the managers on a very regular basis who unsurprisingly can’t get anything out of them. 

The Aragonese outfit were largely abused and ridiculed for a horrendously limp performance last weekend in a 4-0 defeat at Espanyol. This week, the story came out of why the Zaragoza players’ hearts may not really have been in the game at all - the familiar story in la Liga of salary promises not being honoured.

The current squad - and those who were lucky enough to leave over the summer - are still owed money from last season, as well as the current one, which has caused a bit of a dressing room bust-up, claim Marca, with some fuming footballers calling for a strike on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Iglesias has said that the cash-strapped nature of the club is largely the fault of the local government who should do more - meaning donate tax payers money - for the institution. “It’s good for Zaragoza and the community, I think we should all support the club,” claimed the owner.

LLL - Away win

Sporting (18th) v Hércules (11th)

Scores of students of business schools around the planet many soon be heading to Alicante to study the ingenious business model of Hércules which consists of almost zero costs but fantastic results, nonetheless.

Monday’s impressive 4-1 win over Atlético Madrid was achieved despite the issue of missing salary payments to the players not having been resolved, although Royston Drenthe has now gone back to (volunteer) work. Nevertheless, there may still be more trouble at t’mill to come if the Alicante club’s economic issues are not fixed sharpish, predicts LLL.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” admitted super striker, Nelson Valdez, on the curious ways of his current club.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Athletic Bilbao (9th) v Racing Santander (14th)

Very sad news from Racing this week with Oscar Serrano missing the rest of the season having only just returned from a seven month lay off due to a cruciate ligament problem. A recurrence of the same injury sees the very fancy midfielder needing another operation on the troublesome knee.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Sevilla (10th) v Espanyol (5th)

Whilst there has been much hullabaloo in the Madrid press about what José Mourinho is going to do without Gonzalo Higuaín for the rest of the season other than moan at every opportunity, poor old Espanyol have been suffering in deep, media silence with the loss of ‘seven goals’ Osvaldo who is out of action for two months.

The Italian-Argentinean tore a thigh muscle against Zaragoza, last week, but there was no grumbling from Prat-land on the striker’s absence. “I have full confidence in the forwards we have and we are planning to sign a replacement,” chin-jutted Pochettino. “It has not crossed our minds for one second,” insisted the Espanyol coach as Sergio García squealed delight in the background at the thought of more games.

LLL Prediction - Home win


Valencia (4th) v Deportivo (13th)

Deportivo are currently 1-0 down in their Copa del Rey tie against Almería, but LLL has the future path for the Galician spirit grinders already mapped out. A 1-0 win against their opponents next Thursday and a penalty shoot out. After that it’s back to back to victories against Barcelona and then Real Madrid through spot kicks to win the blinking thing.

From this point, Deportivo get to go global. A worrying thought for a Friday, indeed.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Almería (19th) v Real Madrid (2nd)

Now LLL was watching Thursday’s cup clash between Real Madrid and Atlético in the stands and largely without video replays. It deliberately hasn’t seen any press coverage, or headlines, or moans from Marca, so it is fairly untainted by calls of bias, incompetence, etc from the man in the middle. But the blog considers that a masterful refereeing performances in a wonderful match.

There were some huge tackles which were duly punished, but the referee, Mateu Lahoz, ignored much of the nothing challenges, faking, diving and general nonsense that takes place in games in la Liga and helped contribute to the crackling encounter by letting everything flow, as it were.

However, in about half an hours time, LLL is sure it will read that the morning papers do not agree with the blog. At all. But to quote the great Danny Baker, LLL is sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but always certain.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Barcelona (1st) v Málaga (16th)

Staring out at the readers of Barça barmy paper, Sport, every day is Lluís Mascaró - wearing what appears to be his decorating outfit. Either that or the hack’s had an unfortunate accident with a job lot of Tippex.

The Sport writer’s job is largely to write paranoid rants from the fringes of sanity about how everyone and everything outside of Barcelona is out to get the club. Mascaró’s task this week was to defend Leo Messi winning the FIFA Player of the Year award and fend off the attacks from those nasty meanies in Madrid who were ‘uckin’ with his shii’. The journo was given some timely help in this cause with three goals from Argentinean ace in the 5-0 Copa Del Rey victory against Betis.

“A hat-trick to give evidence to the media cave. Messi made it clear, once again, that he deserves the Ballon d’Or in perpetuity.”

LLL Prediction - Home win


Atlético Madrid (6th) v Mallorca (8th)

Not that it seems to make any difference to their largely hopeless performances, but Atlético Madrid are very unhappy indeed at having to play on a Monday evening for the third week in a row - an evening that is often, but unfairly, viewed as la Liga’s take out the trash night. After all, if that were the case then Deportivo and Zaragoza would feature every week.

Nevertheless, having to play on Monday this weekend, and the last, has given Real Madrid a day’s advantage ahead of preparations for the dual Copa del Rey matches, although it could also be argued that Atleti have been handed one day more to get ready for their league game against Mallorca.

“You don’t know who football is planned for in Spain, certainly not the fans,” pointed out Quique Sánchez Flores quite correctly ahead of a Madrid clash finishing at midnight on a Thursday.

LLL Prediction - Home win