The Relocating Weekend Predictions - Round 30

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Real Betis (13th) v Barcelona (2nd)

Slightly slow? Fond of a lunchtime tipple? Staggeringly inept? Then come help run Spanish football. On Thursday morning ,this match was due to be played in Betis' Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stadium which is what the Spanish League's website detailed and, indeed, what Betis stubbornly claimed.

Or it was going to be played at La Cartuja, or even Atlético Madrid's Vicente Calderón, according to the papers – which was a charming one-finger salute to fans of both Betis and Barcelona who may have contemplated the peculiar notion of watching their teams play in person.

In the end the RFEF plumped for the Spanish capital as the logical place to stage the game. "Almost an act of terrorism", claimed Betis legal suit, Jaime Rodríquez

Betis' Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stadium

At time of writing it's still not clear where the blinking match is going to be held. Apparently some of the earliest remains of proto-humans were found in a cave near Burgos, recently. And they possessed brains three-quarters the size of ours. Their direct descendants are working for the Spanish FA, perhaps.

Draw (La Cartuja, de Lopera), away win (Calderón).

Villarreal (3rd) v Atlético Madrid (4th)

In a goofy, complete lack of material type way, La Liga Loca misses the copa-drinking, theatre-advising, Aguirre-abusing waste of space, Maniche – a man on his way to winning an Italian league title, rather incredibly.

But his controversy-shaped hole may well be filled by Atlético's new summer signing, Johnny Heitinga. The Ajax international defender is heading down to the Calderón, close season, having penned a five-year deal with the rojiblancos. "A fantastic step forward in my career," he beamed without a hint of irony.

AS write that Johnny is the David Beckham of Dutch football, is engaged to Bolo Zenden's sister and a gossip magazine regular. He is also causing a bit of a stir on the Amsterdam metro, with photos of him causing train drivers to overshoot their stations.

City transport unions have complained about an advertising campaign which sees Heitinga looking as happy as Guti in Toys'R'Us, posing next to 11 topless lady models in their undies – all part of the latest marketing wheeze from Sloggi.

Although that was nothing compared to the photo Marca published of another new signing, Tomas Ujfalusi. Dirty boy.



Almería (10th) v Levante (20th)

Levante fans – those not in rehab – should finally be rid of former majority shareholder, Pedro Villarroel, as he is about to hand over his 51% holding to current president, Julio Romero.

Apparently this may save them from liquidation and a banishment to the Segunda B division. Although it could a bit cramped in there as almost every club in the Segunda A appears to be run by crooks or close to bankruptcy.

Home win.

Valladolid (17th) v Zaragoza (16th)

Shame on the Swedes. Instead of plumping for a creepy man singing "I love Europe" or the witch-burning folk metal combo they chose the stereotypical busty blond in a short dress for their Eurovision Song Contest entry. To be fair, they'll probably get the vote of the guiri-obsessed male population of Spain.

"Everything has a beginning. Everything comes to end," wails Charlotte Perrelli. And she could have been talking about the season for either Valladolid or Zaragoza should one of them lose this corker.

Home win.

Getafe (9th) v Osasuna (14th)

If you abandon some Spaniards on a desert island and come back in six months, you'll probably find that they have all declared themselves to be a president and handed awards to each other. It's a fine tradition.

It happened oop north when the president of the Navarran Football Association, José Luis Díez, gave the director of Marca a special gold pin for his services to the region's football. "This gesture is a total and absolute honour," grinned Eduardo Inda.

Number of words written about Osasuna in Friday's Primera news section of Marca – none.

Home win.  

Recreativo (18th) v Athletic Bilbao (8th)!!!

Recreativo have had a sneaky look and realised there is only one thing to do to distract attention from their rotten relegation plight – blame the uselessness of referees for all their woes.

It's a cunning plan adopted in recent weeks by Levante, Murcia, Zaragoza and Deportivo – not that it can quite explain away Recre's 13 defeats this season. "Referees have been after us for weeks now," gibbered club president, Francisco Mendoza, ensuring that if they weren't, then they will be now.

Meanwhile, up in the Basque country, one-eyed goalkeeper Armando is not best pleased by Betis coach Paco Chaparro's suggestions that his recovery from being hit by a bottle was suspiciously quick.

"Aaarrgghh! It's sad that I have to justify why they gave us the points and why I have to keep seeing an eye doctor," squinted Armando to the 16 or possibly 32 journalists.

"The only ones from Betis who have personally taken an interest in me are fans and Edu."

"It's wrong to say that we don't care," replied Betis spokeslackey Gregorio Conejo.


Espanyol (7th) v Racing Santander (5th)

It looks like Espanyol are going to be parting company over the summer with Carlos Kameni, a keeper who has hitched up his skirt and fluttered his eyelashes at Man United and Spurs to attract their attention.

And taking over, according to Marca, it's the return of the excellently-named Asier Riesgo (Mr Risk), joining from Real Sociedad. And he will be up against Iker Pigeonholes when they take on Real Madrid, next season.

Home win.

Valencia (11th) v Mallorca (12th)

The Spanish have tried pretty much every combination of reality TV show. Plebs stuck together in a house, bickering for three months. Plebs stuck together building a house, bickering for three months. Plebs stuck together on a farm, bickering for three months.

'C' list celebs on an island somewhere. Talentless people from foreign countries at a fame school. Vaguely talented dancers and one geek who somehow survives every week at a fame school. The list goes on.

But the brain-dead bosses in charge of the likes of Telecinco are missing a trick. La Liga Loca brings you 'Watching the world with depressed David Albelda'.

The increasingly downbeat David Albelda 

Each week the downbeat Valencia midfielder is filmed watching a game of football, complaining that "It'll be hard to play in Euro 2008" and sobbing that "It's harder to watch in the stands."

It's a format being tested by both Marca and AS at the moment, and it's surely a hot ratings winner.

Home win.

Deportivo (15th) v Murcia (19th)

There is a charming sense of optimism down in Murcia, that the club might actually get themselves out of their relegation hole. And this joie de vivre has been inspired by the performance of new wonder boy, Daniel Aquino, in the win over Espanyol last Sunday.

"He's a kid with his head screwed on," confirmed defender, Paco Peña. "But if he changes and gets too big for his boots, the veterans will give him a clip round the year."

Home win.

Real Madrid (1st) v Sevilla (6th)

Bernd Schuster received criticism from a very different place, this week – Bernd Schuster.

The German coach's own website took umbrage with his decision to play Gago ahead of Diarra last Sunday against Valencia, making La Liga Loca contemplate the notion that the Real Madrid boss has developed some kind of Spiderman/Venom issue.

Aside from Schuster's emerging dark side, the other big topic in town at Castle Greyskull was Gonzalo Higuaín's new homage to Pedja Mijatovic's gel job.

"What happened to your hair?" questioned AS on Friday.

"I tried it out to see how it looked and it suits me," replied the Argentinean.

Home win.

You can catch Tim Stannard discussing Higuaín's hair on Real Madrid TV's 'Extra Time'.  Friday at 22.05 UK time and repeated over the weekend on Sky Digital Channel 446.