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La Preview: Atlético’s new hero and relief for Getafe’s fans

Saturday

Sporting (19th) v Valencia (2nd) - 18.00
With the burning topic of the week in Spain now being whether Cristiano Ronaldo is as handsome as the Portuguese player clearly thinks he is, the countryâÂÂs football press rounded on someone utterly unqualified to answer that particular poser about a poser - David Albelda.
As well as trawling through the disappointment of ValenciaâÂÂs goalless draw against Genk - âÂÂwe would have liked to have won but you canâÂÂt say we are out of the Champions Leagueâ - the veteran midfielder was also asked for his thoughts on RonaldoâÂÂs contentious claim from Wednesday night.
âÂÂI didnâÂÂt waste a second last night thinking about whether Ronaldo is ugly or good-looking,â revealed the Valencia man, âÂÂalthough if there was a poll I would lose 99% of the time.âÂÂ
LLL Prediction - Away win

Granada (20th) v Villarreal (17th) - 18.00
Just one point from six in la Liga and and a crushing 2-0 home defeat midweek to Bayern Munich in the Champions League sees Villarreal jabbing the panic button with gusto. âÂÂItâÂÂs a bad situation, we have to improve,â noted Diego López. However, VillarrealâÂÂs situation could be a lot worse. They could be Granada.
The newbies to la Primera have lost their first two games so far this season without scoring a goal, or even coming close. Club president, Quique Pina, has been talking about how calm and relaxed he is about GranadaâÂÂs start to the season - a sure sign of how calm and relaxed he isnâÂÂt feeling about GranadaâÂÂs start to the season.
âÂÂIâÂÂm just as relaxed and excited as I was before la Liga began and I wanted to pass this onto the squad,â revealed Pina under the miscomprehension that the Granada players give a DutchmanâÂÂs clog what the strange man in the suit who came to lecture them was feeling.
LLL Prediction - Away win

Mallorca (10th) v Málaga (8th) - 18.00
More trouble atâÂÂmill for Mallorca this week with a very open rift between the clubâÂÂs figurehead and Vice President, Serra Ferrer, and Michael Laudrup over the failure of the club to buy a new striker over the summer.
Stuck in the middle is Mallorca president, Jaume Cladera, who noted that âÂÂin football, egos are delicate and you have to take care of them. You have to try and put each ego in its place. If not, you produce an imbalance and thatâÂÂs were we are.âÂÂ
It seems so likely that a very grumpy Laudrup will walk any day now that names to replace the Dane have been rolling around the Balearic landscape with former Athletic Bilbao boss and all round genius in the blogâÂÂs eyes, Joaquín Caparrós, at the front of the queue - but denying it - having been recently released nut-job led Swiss outfit Neuchatel Xamax.
LLL Prediction - Away win

Barcelona (4th) v Osasuna (7th) - 20.00
Where the Spanish press lead, LLL is following - so it is off to Barcelona where the local columnists have had a field day digesting Cristiano RonaldoâÂÂs comments and then regurgitating them like a fur ball.
âÂÂThe best thing he can do is look at Leo Messi who despite being number one in the world has never thumped his chest,â was the suggestion from José Luis Carazo writing in Sport.
âÂÂOnce again, reality beats fiction,â writes his colleague, Lluís Mascaró, on RonaldoâÂÂs rather excellent portrayal in Spanish comedy show, âÂÂCrakòviaâÂÂ.
LLL Prediction - Home win (at least after the first half, anyway)

Sevilla (6th) v Real Sociedad (5th) - 22.00
On an institutional level, Sevilla were not a group of happy campers this week after a meeting of the Spanish League (LFP). Having held their own rebelâÂÂs council last Thursday to discuss possible action to take on the omnipotent pair of Real Madrid and Barcelona, it seems that some of those more vocal members were quiet as wee, trembling mice, with the Sevilla Director General, José María Cruz, complaining that some put on their bestest, pretty petty coats and got down on one knee to apologise (to Real Madrid and Barcelona) for attending. âÂÂIt was a free-for-all, a scrap,â lamented the Sevilla big wig.
Cruz claimed that only Espanyol and Betis had SevillaâÂÂs back. âÂÂReal Madrid had a very strong reaction against what Sevilla have been proposing in a sign they feel threatened.âÂÂ
LLL Prediction - Home win

Sunday

Getafe (16th) v Rayo Vallecano (12th) - 12.00
The two teams vying for the ever-so prestigious title of third best team in Madrid - or second, depending on what mood Atlético Madrid are in of a particular season - meet for the first time ever in la Primera.
Unfortunately, the Getafe boss wonâÂÂt be there flapping away on the pitch to lead his side into this celebrated clash. Again. In fact, Luis García has yet to stand and wave his arms on the Coliseum touchline as a fully fledged Getafe boss having been suspended for the first match of the season due to a misdemeanor from the final game of the last campaign, whilst wearing his Levante hat.
Luis García was momentarily back in action at the Bernabeu last Saturday but was sent off and suspended for two games, apparently for telling the referee that he was a âÂÂdisgraceâ - something that is never going to go down well with SpainâÂÂs notoriously short-tempered and humourless men in the middle.
On a side note, AS revealed on Thursday that GetafeâÂÂs infamous âÂÂHot Zombies from Getafeâ film - of the full-on adult variety dribbles the paper - was shown in Madrid on Thursday before being distributed to sperm donation clinics around the city. The sound of an invitation plopping into LLLâÂÂs post box was disappointedly absent.
LLL Prediction - Home win

Zaragoza (18th) v Espanyol (9th) - 16.00
LLL has had the dubious pleasure of seeing Zaragoza twice now this season - once on the google-box and the other in person - so the blog is perfectly qualified to declare that the Aragonese side are blooming awful. âÂÂCould have been worse,â was the verdict from manager, Javier Aguirre, after the goalless draw with Rayo Vallecano.
WhatâÂÂs more, LLL also discovered yet more evil doing behaviour from the bottom-scraping Zaragoza who in recent months have thrown balls onto the pitch to stop the opposition, gone into administration to avoid paying debts to players and spent a silly amount of money from an investment fund that no-one really knows anything about. The clubâÂÂs latest crime was Aguirre imitating a refereeâÂÂs whistle during the Rayo clash with the maverick Mexican getting booked in the process.
LLL Prediction - Draw

Atlético Madrid (15th) v Racing Santander (13th) - 18.00
âÂÂDiego, the new idol of the Calderónâ declares FridayâÂÂs edition of AS after AtléticoâÂÂs 2-0 Europa win over Celtic and LLL is in full, hearty agreement. It was a sticky, steaming night in the Vicente Calderón but an evening when Diego making his first start for Atlético was very impressive indeed. Always wanting the ball and almost impossible to knock him off it when he got it, Diego seems to be âÂÂthe brainâ in midfield that the Rojiblancos have been missing for some time.
âÂÂA top player,â said Neil Lennon when LLL probed the Celtic boss after the game on what he thought of the Brazilian who scored AtléticoâÂÂs second. âÂÂHeâÂÂs hard to pick up and actually quite strong. Being here in Madrid will suit him. Maybe this is the platform for him to move up in his career,â opined Lennon who said that Diego reminded him a great deal of former Barcelona midfielder, Deco.
LLL Prediction - Home win.

Levante (11th) v Real Madrid (1st) - 20.00
âÂÂHandsome, rich, famous...and braveâ was the panting headline on Friday from AS over the pluckiness of their hero who wants to play against Levante on Sunday âÂÂdespite the ankle injuryâ given to him by the dastardly Leko of Dinamo Zagreb. But if Ronaldo is looking for any sympathy, the forward probably isnâÂÂt going to get it at Levante were yet more rough play can be expected.
âÂÂHeâÂÂs a very good, very fast player,â said Xavi Torres, âÂÂso if you have to give him a knock, as they say in football, then heâÂÂll get one as will anyone else who we come up against and gives us the chance to win the ball.âÂÂ
The midfielderâÂÂs defensive colleague, Juanfran, couldnâÂÂt help but comment on RonaldoâÂÂs modest statement over why everyone had it in for him. âÂÂI thought he was describing me,â chuckled the full-back.
LLL Prediction - Away win

Athletic Bilbao (14th) v Betis (3rd)
A big sigh of relief from Marcelo Biesla on Thursday after a 2-1 away win against Slovan Bratislava to take away a bit of the pressure that had been building on the Athletic boss after his team picked up just one point from six in their start to la Liga.
The situation had become so tense that the aforementioned Joaquín Caparrós was even being linked with a quick return to the club he had to leave after his former boss lost the summerâÂÂs presidential elections. But once again, âÂÂJokinâ said that he had no desire to return and was more interested in trying to restart his journalism studies. âÂÂYou have to give Biesla time,â said Caparrós. âÂÂAs the Athletic fan that I am, I hope and wish it goes well for the coach.âÂÂ
LLL Prediction - Home win