La Preview: El Clásico (er, and nine other games...)
To be honest, LLL has absolutely no idea who will win the Clásico. A 2-2 draw to keep things frosty and fun for the rest of the season, but that also gives the watching punters something to get excited about, is the blog's bold prediction.
Clásicos tend to be games out of time and form. Heck, a few years ago at the Camp Nou under Juande Ramos, even Royston Drenthe nearly stopped Barcelona in their tracks, so Ronaldo & Co. are more than capable of getting something from the Catalan capital.
Barcelona’s big hope is to keep on keeping on against Real Madrid, with Ivan Rakitic finally being able to wear the big trousers in the playmaking department. For Real Madrid, the main hopes lie with a bonding seafood meal for the squad, a snarling Sergio Ramos and Pepe and, as Marca writes on Friday, trying to play a bit like they did against Bayern Munich last April in a 4-0 win on German soil.
The one prediction that LLL will be completely spot on about is that pretty much everyone else will be ignored in Spain to make way for the game. However, the blog is going to gather everyone else into a huddle and give a rousing team talk on what else is at stake this weekend...
Will Elche boss ever be Valencia hero?
La Liga has certainly got its act together to save Friday nights. After inflicting games involving Levante and Almería on the poor, unsuspecting Spanish public, Valencia now seem to be the team en vogue. The Mestalla men were on the gogglebox last week at home to Deportivo, and now travel to Elche to face a former old boy.
Elche boss Fran Escribá was a Valencia youth team player who never made it to the bright lights. He also coached in the club’s youth ranks, forming a partnership with Quique Sánchez Flores that took him to Getafe, back to Valencia, to Benfica and then finally Atlético Madrid, before becoming the first-team coach in his own right at Elche in 2012.
Can Atlético get better luck against Getafe?
Not the best of weeks for Getafe. Monday brought a home defeat to Real Sociedad after a late own goal. Then there were the stories about match-fixing. On top of that, the club president announced that he was going to be chasing €2 million from Quique Sánchez Flores, the manager who walked out on the club just three weeks ago. A clause in Quique’s remaining contract, apparently.
Can Moyes lead Europe charge for La Real?
There is about a 4% chance of this happening, but if a three-way eclipse of football planetary objects takes place, Real Sociedad could be back in Europe a little sooner than expected. The first bit of work would have to be done by La Real themselves in finishing eighth, a position currently two points and two places away.
Will Sevilla overstay welcome against Villarreal?
Will Rayo players keep up orange protest against Málaga?