The Paraguay-Disrespecting Weekend Predictions - Round 25

Saturday

Deportivo (6th) vs Tenerife (19th)

Deportivo and Zaragoza met in court this week over the ongoing transfer saga concerning Queen Angel Lafita, who moved from the former to the latter at the end of the summer transfer window – much to Depor’s displeasure.

The dispute centres on the ownership rights of the versatile star of Chicago and part time midfielder and... and... considering most people will have stopped reading after the words “ownership rights” the blog will save everyone’s time and energy by stopping, too.

LLL prediction: Home win

Almería (13th) vs Barcelona (1st)

La Liga Loca has an apology to make. Indeed, so does most of the Spanish sports media.

The blog has made the foolish assumption that the launch of the Laporta 2010 website with its blurb about a better future for Catalunya, making brave decisions and YouTube clip of a jacketless Barcelona president in a sleeves rolled-up “I’m a regular guy” pose was an indication of an interest in a future political career.

But apparently not. It was merely a sexed-up version of a MySpace page. That’s what Joan himself appears to be claiming after telling Sport that his political ambitions have yet to be confirmed.

“I am reflecting on this idea but nothing has been decided yet,” said Laporta. “The time to make an announcement cannot be made before I have left the Barcelona presidency.”

La Liga Loca must now make sure that it does not read anything into the launch of the Laporta-penned book called Dreams for my Children, in which he muses and chinstrokes on a number of fascinating subjects in regards to Barcelona football club and Catalunya - just the kind of thing that any average non-political José would do at some point in their life.

LLL prediction: Away win

Real Madrid (2nd) vs Sevilla (4th)

Florentino signings goooood, Ramón Calderón signings baaaaad: Part Three.

The Madridista press continues its ongoing campaign to ensure that fans of the Castle Greyskull club do not stray from the right-thinking path and get any funny notions about non-Pérez players being any good.

The propaganda baton was passed from Marca to AS on Thursday with the latter paper’s review of how the various Real Madrid players fared in their international fixtures - and it really was a tale of two cities.

Pérez’ princes:
Cristiano Ronaldo - “almost every attacking play went through the boots of Cristiano.”
Xabi Alonso - “both led the midfield and defended it.”
Alvaro Arbeloa - “contained a very flat Ribery.”
Sergio Ramos - “scored and looked very secure.”
Kaká - “was straight back to work in Madrid” after his sparkling friendly performance against Ireland.
Raul Albiol - “came on after the break and achieved perfection.”

Ramón’s rogues:
Rafael van der Vaart - “played half-an-hour.”
Lassana Diarra - “lost the battle in midfield.”
Gonzalo Higuaín - “he was boring, but he scored.”

LLL prediction: Home win

Sunday

Málaga (14th) vs Xerez (20th)

Xerez only signed two players in the winter transfer window, which is not entirely surprising considering the bottom-of-the-table club are in Spain’s version of administration.

One of those is called Nicolás Vigneri but the forward hasn’t actually appeared for the Andalusian side as yet. And one of his agents is quite unhappy about the affair and blames the Xerez manager for making a financial rather than a footballing decision in overlooking his client.

“Gorosito has not picked him as he was not brought in by his own agent and could not make any money on the deal,” j’accused Jorge Chijane.

LLL prediction: Home win

Espanyol (15th) vs Villarreal (8th)

Shunsuke Nakamura has finally gone, gone, gone back to his first club, Yokohama Mariners, and has apologised to Espanyol fans for them not getting to see the very best of him during his rather uninspiring spell in El Prat.

The midfielder would almost certainly have made his declaration in his local lingo – and that’s the heart of the problem with Nakamura, feels one Japanese colleague of the blog, who says that her countryman failed to learn Italian in three years with Reggina, did not pick up much English after four years in Scotland and was nowhere near learning any Spanish at Espanyol.

LLL prediction; Draw

Mallorca (5th) vs Sporting (10th)

La Liga Loca today announces its intention to bring its global readership the thoughts of Mallorca manager Gregorio Manzano on a regular basis.

But rather than having Manzano’s musings twisted and turned by what Joan Laporta calls the “media cavern”, the blog is bringing them straight from the manager’s mouth from Gregorio’s personal blog.

The first philosophy from Manzano in this exciting series is a most intriguing one with his latest blog update stating boldly that “no input file selected.” Food for thought, indeed.

LLL prediction: Home win

Osasuna (12th) vs Getafe (9th)

A tremendous civil war has been fought at the Coliseum this week after a run of five league matches without a win for Getafe. After the Madrid side’s most recent defeat against Zaragoza, Michel the manager complained that some of his squad’s ‘stars’ were spending too much time reading their own positive press. Those who can read, that is.

But club president Angel Torres has hit back and defends the under-fire footballers. “If 15 players have a bad day than it’s the fault of the manager,” sniffed Torres, putting Michel back in his box by complaining that Sunday’s 2-0 defeat was “the worst game in our six years in la Primera.”

LLL prediction: Away win

Athletic (7th) vs Valladolid (18th)

There was a bit of a bust-up in the Basque Country on Wednesday after Athletic’s friendly with the national side of Paraguay. Sections of the South American country’s press were huffing and puffing that the home team’s line-up was distinctly second-string and showed a “total lack of respect” to proud Paraguay, who came away with a 3-1 victory.

However, it's a charge that Athletic manager Joaquín Caparrós strongly denies (in the couldn’t-give-a-flying-fig sense of the word ‘denies'). “You [journalists] have your opinions, and that’s fair enough, but I’m the one who has to make the decisions and I don’t just think about today, but also tomorrow and yesterday.”

LLL prediction: Home win

Zaragoza (17th) vs Atlético (11th)

With just over two months to go until the end of the Spanish football season, the FA has yet to select either the venue or date of the 2010 Copa del Rey final between Sevilla and Atlético Madrid – feeling, quite rightly, that one can’t hurry these things.

The original date of May 26 has just been rejected by FIFA on the grounds that it's in the middle of World Cup preparations and 10 days after the deadline given by the organisation to leagues around the world to have their domestic affairs in order.

This now leaves Spanish suits hoping that both participants are knocked out of their respective European competitions as quickly as possible. Otherwise finding a free slot for the ‘showpiece’ event could become somewhat problematical, although a spokesman said the organisation was 'hopeful' over FIFA agreeing to their latest proposal of July 11.

LLL prediction: Home win

Monday

Valencia (3rd) vs Racing (16th)

Sergio Canales - still a Racing player, despite what Marca would have people believe - is probably very relieved indeed that his side have an away fixture this weekend as any welcome in El Sardinero would be far from warm.

The young forward was splashed across the media in a foolish stunt, during the week, putting on the Real Madrid shirt, kissing the club badge and being made to look like an enormous tart by the Madridista rag.

Sergio’s agent-father Angel was forced to apologise for the unfortunate incident and the player himself has been before the local press to “insist that I am here to help Racing.”

LLL prediction: Home win

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