La Preview: Getafe’s confessions, Zaragoza’s shame and Pochettino’s promise

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Mallorca (15th) v Osasuna (7th) - 18.00 (local time)
Remember Emilio Nsue? No? Up-and-coming young Spanish striker? Well, the Mallorca forward was certainly in that cat basket last year, but he hasn’t started a game since the beginning of  January and he’s not happy about it. “I’m really upset about how I’ve been left out. I’m being left without the Olympic Games,” complained the forward in regards to his treatment by Joaquín Caparrós.
Nsue also had a message for fellow striker Michael Pereira, who has been much more active this year in his place. “I note that when I lose a ball, people are always on top of me, whilst when someone else does, it doesn’t matter.
“It’s only when we are together that we can manage our objectives,” taunted his high-minded team-mate and rival via Twitter. “More than ever we must think of Mallorca and not divide ourselves through egotism.”
LLL Prediction - Home win

Getafe (14th) v Málaga (6th) - 18.00
It’s been confession week in Getafe, with a couple of players shuffling before the press, looking at the ground in shame, mumbling that their performances simply haven’t been good enough and that they are very, very sorry indeed. First up was Dani Güiza, who wisely agreed with the comments made last week by manager Luis García that he wasn’t exactly delivering on the goal-scoring front this season. “I’m not happy with my numbers either,” admitted the forward. “I wasn’t playing for a year-and-a-half but now I’m feeling better,” said Güiza perhaps promising goals galore, starting at Málaga.
Güiza’s teammate, Diego Castro, also had something to get off his chest admitting that he too had not been much cop in the current campaign. “I’m not happy with my personal situation and what I’ve delivered. I have to improve and the team does too.”
LLL Prediction - Home win

Rayo Vallecano (11th) v Racing Santander (18th) - 18.00
During the week, Sergio Ramos admitted that he had sort of left an elbow out for Diego Costa during last Sunday’s Madrid derby, though he didn’t mean to do the Rayo forward any harm, of course.
Diego Costa appeared to be just fine with that response - a reputation for diving perhaps coloured the referee’s view of the incident - and pointed out that “it was quite heated during the game. I was scrapping with them (Pepe and Ramos) from the beginning,” recalled the on-loan Atlético Madrid striker. "Things happened in the game, we fight out on the pitch and it stays there.”
LLL Prediction - Home win

Barcelona (2nd) v Sporting (19th) - 20.00
LLL senses that Javier Clemente didn’t accept the Sporting job because he wanted the challenge of keeping the Asturian side in la Primera, but rather because he needed a platform for spouting off on all manner of topics on a daily basis to a media who are always more than happy to fill a page or two with the Basque manager’s thoughts.
This week, Clemente was musing over Barcelona, and how he didn’t really enjoy watching the Catalan club, which is unfortunate as Pep’s Dream Boys will provide his opposition on Saturday. “It’s fantastic football, but I go for more direct football. I don’t like long periods of possession when you are winning 1-0,” said the Sporting boss who has lead his side to two draws since taking over from Manolo Preciado.
Clemente is an admirer of Carles Puyol though and suggests that a couple of Real Madrid defenders should copy the Barça centre-back, but perhaps not in the hair department. “Puyol is an example to follow in football and should be for Sergio Ramos and Pepe as he goes for the ball with nobility.”
LLL Prediction - Home win

Sevilla (10th) v Atlético Madrid (9th) - 22.00
Atlético’s opponents, Sevilla, had a couple of players called up to the Spain squad in the form of Alvaro Negredo and Jesús Navas. However, none were required from the Rojiblanco ranks. Now, in any other country the next step would be to look at some candidates - Juanfran, Adrían and Gabi for example - and realise that the lack of Atlético talent in the Spain team is due to other players being better.
But this being Spain, some think it’s a giant conspiracy and that Vicente Del Bosque has it in for the Vicente Calderón club. “The manager always finds a reason not to choose an Atlético player,” moans José Miguelez in AS, the reason this time being the crazy notion that none of them are actually good enough.
LLL Prediction - Home win


Zaragoza (20th) v Villarreal (17th) - 12.00
The blog's last report concerning Zaragoza boss, Manolo Jiménez, was of the fiery chieftain storming out of a press conference after a 5-1 defeat to Málaga, declaring that he was ashamed and that there was going to be no more kid gloves treatment with the players.
Manolo took a few days to calm down before returning to speak to the media on Wednesday, but there was no great change to the former Sevilla manager’s mood. “I still feel ashamed of the image we presented in the game from the 63rd minute. I still feel angry and the only thing that will make it go away is a change in image.”
LLL Prediction - Away win

Athletic Bilbao (5th) v Real Sociedad (13th) - 16.00
LLL will admit to finding the interview with Javi Martínez published in Wednesday’s Marca surprising. Not because it was actually quite good, but because it was located in the Real Madrid section, with the paper seeming to imply that just because they stuck the Athletic player on the front page the other day as a Mourinho target, the Spain international is now a Real Madrid player.
“I play for a great team and all I’m thinking about is Athletic, Athletic and Athletic. I’m very happy here in Bilbao,” was the response of Martínez to an opening question that is fairly easy to guess.
LLL Prediction - Home win

Granada (16th) v Valencia (3rd) - 18.00
Unsurprisingly the Valencia players were booed from the pitch after last weekend’s home defeat to Sevilla. LLL uses the word 'unsurprisingly' as that’s what the Valencia supporters in Mestalla tend to do anyway no matter the result - that and the loss leaving the east coast club with just the single win in eight. But when the only side breathing down your neck are Levante, who have managed just the single win in nine, the incentive to give a flying hula-hoop is limited.  
Unai Emery came out on the defence of his team by saying that the supporters should judge the club at the end of the season. This was a stance backed by Roberto Soldado who dipped his toe into tempestuous fan-fighting waters by suggesting that “what happens with Valencia is valued more outside of the club than here inside and that “it seems that third place doesn’t have any merit.”
LLL Prediction - Away win

Real Madrid (1st) v Espanyol (8th) - 21.30
Perico coach Mauricio Pochettino has said that he won’t be making any complaints about refereeing decisions during Sunday’s game no matter what happens in the Santiago Bernabeu against Madrid. “I’m not afraid of refs and I don’t have any prejudices,” claimed the Espanyol coach.
If that does happen then a manager in la Liga not whining about decisions going against his team is enough for LLL to have the Argentinean coach captured, stuffed, dressed in his Espanyol tracksuit and placed in the Spanish FA’s museum and labeled as some kind of freakish, mutated oddity.
LLL Prediction - Home win 


Levante (4th) v Betis (12th) - 21.00
After going eight games without a win, Levante finally managed to pick up three points last weekend with a victory at Espanyol. It lifted Levante back into the Champions League places, but club captain Sergio Ballesteros is still of the mindset that the club are not yet safe on 35 points with 14 matches left. Although it would take a feat of Zaragoza proportions to be relegated, the hefty stopper says that Monday’s game is another battle to avoid the drop. “The Betis match is 50% of our salvation. When we manage our objective we can dream about other things,” said Ballesteros this week. LLL suspects those ‘other things’ might be called ‘summer holidays’.
LLL Prediction - Draw