The Russian-wrestling weekend predictions


Villarreal (4th) vs Athletic (13th)

One of the best wheelers and dealers in the transfer market last summer was Villarreal - simply through their admirable achievement of beating off (not in the Ever Banega sense) big guns who were coveting their shiniest stars.

Despite the likes of Madrid attempting to crowbar Cazorla away from El Madrigal, the squad remained largely intact.

But it may be a very different situation come June, when not even a legion of scarecrows will be able to frighten off the predators circling the stadium. Or so says, Villarreal president, Fernando Roig.

“There could be a lot of changes,” admits Roig, confessing that the current CRISIS could take its toll on his club.

“I don’t know if we will be capable of managing (not to sell) again,” said, Villarreal suit, José Manuel Llaneza on the multimillion euro bids expected for Pascal Cygan this summer.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Sevilla (3rd) vs Valladolid (9th)

The subject of Diego Capel is a divisive one in Spanish footie. Some say he is a half-decent but diving cheat boy who cannot cross. Others feel the Sevilla winger is the genuine bees knees.

One thing that is for certain this year is that opposition players have adapted their game to Capel’s theatrical stylings.

Defenders have learned that the cartwheeling wideman is going down anyway at the slightest of challenges, bringing an instant booking, so now may as well cut their losses and take him out with some gusto to ensure their punishment was well worth it.

However, Capel may well be booted into row Z at a completely different team next season, having admitted that contract negotiations have stalled and confessed to feeling a tad troubled at having lost his place in the starting line-up in recent matches.

“Nobody likes this situation. I feel fine and I want to play,” cried Capel on Thursday.

LLL Prediction - Home win


Getafe (17th) vs Recreativo (14th)

“MUÑOZ OUT! MUÑOZ OUT!” La Liga Loca is revolting, Dear Reader, but in a very different way than normal. “MUÑOZ OUT! MUÑOZ OUT!”

It has suddenly dawned on the blog that if the current chump in charge at the Coliseum stays another minute as manager, then Getafe are doomed to descend to La Segunda, possibly never to be seen again.

That’s because there is only one true hero who can bring the glory days back to the Coliseum. The man with the moustache... the Incredible Sulk... the Blonde Bombshell.... Herr Bernd Schuster himself.

And it may well happen according to, Getafe president, Angel Torres, who sent a pleading message to Bernado this week claiming that “he can come back to coach here any time.”

LLL Prediction - Draw

Real Madrid (2nd) vs Almería (12th)

La Liga Loca has always held a big man love for Wesley E’Sneijder - as he is known in Spain - and with good reason.

He moves like Mighty Mouse, told the blog that he was the best player in La Liga last season and has a brother called Rodney. He is The Man.

But this time around, he has been fairly pants in his performances. Some thought his early season injury was still causing him some trouble. Others pinned the blame on off the pitch personal problems for the Dutch midfielder.

However on Thursday, Sneijder made a confession as to the root causes of his rubbishness with a bit of a chuckle. “I feel good now that I’m not going out partying as much,” said the beaming midfielder.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Osasuna (18th) vs Espanyol (20th)

Sometimes, fence-sitting footballers can be just a little too polite in musing over their upcoming opponents.

Take Osasuna winger Juanfran, for example, on Sunday’s clash with bottom of the table Espanyol.

“If we go out and let them play, then Espanyol will cause us problems,” said the Pamplonan on a terrible opposition team that have managed just one win in 18.

To counter this fiercesome record Juanfran warns that “we must impose our style and get on top as soon as possible” - Osasuna code for “kick the crap out of De la Peña.”

LLL Prediction - Goalless draw (cue yet another 5-4 epic)

Deportivo (7th) vs Betis (15th)

Yet again, stories of potential new buyers of Betis have oozed into this weeks press. But we have been here before.

Previous suitors looking to relieve Darth de Lopera of his 52 percent shareholding have either been scared off after a look at the club’s books or been run out of town like cattle rustlers for not being up to De Lopera’s very high standards.

The latest investor looking to raise and then dash Betico fans’ hopes is Sheikh Al-Nuaimi, whose minions have been in Seville to sniff round the club and talk turkey with the Lord of the Flies.

And according to an excited press on Friday, splurge 300m euro on transfers this summer.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Numancia (19th) vs Sporting (11th)

It is not often that La Liga Loca must come to the defence of a club president in Spain, but it must do so today with news from La Segunda, the division that Numancia will shortly be rejoining.

A black-eye-sporting Joaquín Bilbao resigned from his post as president of, league leaders. Xerez on Thursday after a very silly storm of controversy surrounding a night-out gone very wrong for the Andalusian lawyer.

After all, who hasn’t gone out on a Tuesday night looking for after hours action only to find out that your favourite bordello is closed.

And who hasn’t then had a rumble with some Russians outside the establishment resulting in a black eye.

And who hasn’t then fled with the chauffeur only to come back and see the driver fire five shots into the front door of the establishment.

And who hasn’t then been arrested by the police a day later, only for the driver to confess to everything resulting in a release from the slammer without charge.

“I have a clean conscience,” says Bilbao, stepping down after just three months in his post.

LLL Prediction - Away win

Racing (10th) vs Valencia (8th)

Now that Valencia is being run by someone who appears to have read Economics for Dummies and knows what bankruptcy looks like when it stares you in the face, it is been made very clear that everything must go at the penniless club.

In response to Javier Gómez’s announcement that footballing assets will be flogged this summer, the Spanish sports dailies have drawn up lists of players that will definitely have buyers, those that are on the market but will be tough to sell and those that the club has no hope in shifting.

One footballer in the latter list was Rubén Baraja, and the midfielder admitted that he found the whole affair rather tasteless. “It seems like a lack of respect to me,” sniffed the veteran footballer.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Barcelona (1st) vs Málaga (6th)

(Sigh) Sometimes people never learn.

A few weeks ago, Barcelona fans on the blog castigated their club and the Catalan press for going ga-ga over Madridista rumour-mongering concerning Florentino Pérez wanting to bring the likes of Messi to the Bernabeu.

This week they have been at it again, but with Andrés Iniesta added to the mix and, predictably, it has provoked a typically hysterical reaction in the Catalan capital.

“Iniesta and Messi will stay in Barcelona until either the club decides to let them go or until they retire,” babbled the bait-taking Lluís Mascaró in Friday’s Sport.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Mallorca (16th) vs Atletico (5th)

It appears that those buffoons running Atlético Madrid are not as dumb as they either look or have proved themselves to be over the past decade or so.

When, rojiblanco midfielder, José Jurado moved on loan to the Ono Estadi last summer, the club stuck the familiar clause in his contract stating that he may not play in the two fixtures against Atleti.

Considering the former Madrid man has been Mallorca’s star player this season, it’s a good job too.

But the real stroke of genius from Enrique Cerezo and co is choosing not to place the same clause in the contract of, mediocre midfielder, Cleber Santana - also on loan at the Balearic club - leaving him free to face Atleti on Sunday, something that can only help the Champions League chasing visitors.

“I don’t understand the rules,” moaned Jurado. “I can’t play in the game but Cleber can!”

LLL Prediction - Home win

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