The Secretly Recorded Predictions - Round 14

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Sporting (10th) vs Atlético Madrid (6th)

La Liga Loca wouldn’t be at all surprised if rojiblanco fans witness Maniche transforming from a cake-obsessed caterpillar into a beautiful footballing butterfly over the next few weeks. That’s because it’s contract renegotiating time for the portly Portuguese under-performer.

Instead of half-hearted thwacks into row Z and the odd trundle towards the opposition box before sighing and thinking better of it, expect lung-busting lunges and perspiring performances from the manic midfielder whilst the talks are ongoing.

“My goal is to stay here,” claimed Maniche, flicking through a copy of What Burger?, “but we still haven’t come to an agreement on the number of years or on the economic details”.

LLL Prediction - Away win (Maniche hat-trick)

Villarreal (2nd) vs Getafe (12th)

These are heady days indeed at Villarreal! Sneaky outside favourites for the Champions League... napping at Barcelona’s heels... just one league defeat all season. One can only imagine that the club’s notoriously hyperactive website must be a colourful cacophony of thrills and spills! Or not.

“Sebastian Eguren will be the special guest on Villarreal TV.” “This match will be different to the Valladolid game, says Rossi” (because they’re playing Getafe, perhaps?) and “Club changes fabric conditioner!”* are the three headlines this fine Friday morning.

*Not technically true

LLL Prediction - Home win

Barcelona (1st) vs Valencia (3rd)

If you're looking for detailed analysis on the match-fixing allegations or how the recession could affect the game in Spain, then don’t bother with Mundo Deportivo, the Barça-loving paper that considers Spot the Difference competitions too highbrow.

Bored of comparing Messi, Eto’o et al to a summer’s day, the paper has gone back to the tried and tested formula of letting its readers Bee-Gee over how deep their love is for the club.

Regular blog readers will remember the comments competition held by the Catalan comic to choose a new ‘Dream Team’ style name; in the end ‘Pep’s Dream Boys’ was the overwhelming favourite of this particular online oracle.

This week, MD has been holding a contest inviting the world to “describe Pep Guardiola in one word”. La Liga Loca almost cried with joy.

Whilst not having the time, energy or will-power to go through the 500-odd suggestions logged so far, the entries from the paper’s ever-willing readers vary from...

a) the booty-kissing brigade - ‘elegant’, ‘fantastic’, ‘culé’

b) those lacking basic numeracy skills - ‘a lover of the club’, ‘intelligent leader’ and ‘he will be the best coach in the history of  Barcelona’.

c) Real Madrid or Espanyol fans whose entries printed in the comments section mean that the end of this line may be left to your imagination, depending on how gung-ho the FFT lawyers are feeling today - ‘bi***ual’, ‘do*ing’.

LLL Prediction - Home win


Mallorca (15th) vs Recreativo (20th)

With Mallorca’s sale to Paul ‘the Plumber’ Davidson having crashed and burned on the rocks of doom, the Balearic club have been left in a spot of monetary bother - and these concerns appear to have filtered through to the team’s players, who have furrowed brows over their plans for that new year Porsche purchase

But those worries have been waved away, say Marca, by club president and owner Vicente Grande, who took a bit of a stroll to attend one of this week’s training sessions.

“The president said that everything was under control and we have complete confidence in him,” declared Iván Ramis.

Unfortunately, the defender was at a loss to explain why Grande was carrying his office possessions in carrier bags and kept looking at his watch.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Osasuna (19th) vs Valladolid (8th)

It’s 2008! It’s Friday! So it’s over to the Osasuna camp for the blog’s new regular feature - “plucky Pamplonans ignore their perilous plight!”.

Each week, La Liga Loca will be bringing you the best examples of stiff-upper-lip, reality-ignoring, Dunkirk-spirit assertions from the relegation-rattled club.

To kick off today’s instalment, it’s Camp Nou favourite Santi Ezquerro with his claim that “We have a great team and can still get out of this”.

That bold statement is echoed by Juanfran, who is  “convinced that we’ll beat Valladolid on Sunday”. Goalkeeper Roberto is willing to go even further by declaring that “we have to go out and die over the next three games and give everything”.

LLL Prediction - Away win

Deportivo (7th) vs Málaga (9th)

It's been a week of highs and lows for maverick Málaga owner Lorenzo Sanz. It started off on a downer with accusations of match-fixing being hurled in his direction from Real Sociedad bigwig Iñaki Badiola, along with the claim that the former Real Madrid president was ‘a habitual criminal’.

However, things perked up slightly, soon after, when allegations of fraud against Sanz were dropped by an Italian gentleman who had a disagreement with the Málaga man over a real estate deal gone bad.

Of course, this case is quite separate to the incident in September which saw Sanz arrested in Cordoba suspected of fraud... and that time when...

LLL Prediction - Home win

Numancia (18th) vs Almería (14th)

Abandon hope, ye who enter here.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Racing (13th) vs Athletic (16th)

For those loving a bit of jiggery-pokery in their footie, these are indeed golden times. First off, there were the tapes of former Tenerife player Jesuli and Real Sociedad president Iñaki Badiola suggesting bung-taking naughtiness – suggestions strong enough for the case to be handed over to Spain’s Old Bill. And for La Liga Loca to say nothing more on the matter.

And then another tape surfaced, dating back to the end of the 2006-07 season, apparently containing the voices of former Levante player Iñaki Descarga and president Julio Romero, say Popular TV.

The transcript – released and published across Spain – involves alleged discussions on alleged payments made allegedly to some of the Levante players to allegedly lose their end of season clash between themselves and Athletic Bilbao – a match that was won comfortably 2-0 by the home side to save them from relegation.

AS have helpfully set up a link to the original match report and to some highlights of the game, where the Basque club broke the deadlock thanks to a Levante own goal in an encounter that “was full of opportunities for Athletic”.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Betis (11th) vs Espanyol (17th)

Writing, watching and talking about footie can be a fairly testosterone-filled, manly, grrrrr pastime. So it’s no wonder that La Liga Loca spends a lot of its off-hours watching Before Sunrise and drinking tea.

In a similar vein, the blog has had to take equalising action ever since Betis started to be half-decent. After years of jeers and jokes at the Seville side’s expense, Betis’ newly-discovered competency has forced the blog, through gritted fingers, to write complimentary comments about them.

With the law that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, La Liga Loca has had to undertake suitably uncharitable acts to compensate. This weekend, La Liga Loca has had to smash the guitar of an innocent, unsuspecting barrio busker in true Animal House style simply because of the upcoming prediction of a Betis home win.

But as the soon to be firewood-owning musician only plays Money for Nothing and Walk of Life on a constant loop, the blog feels that it is performing a public service.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Real Madrid (4th) vs Sevilla (5th)

And so, this week, Real Madrid’s latest injured Dutchman took advantage of the slot vacated by the newly fit Arjen Robben to join the fun at Castle Greyskull.

The former Ajax forward's concerns over passing the club’s rigorous medical were quickly overcome when he realised that it consisted of a man in a white coat clutching a clipboard kicking his footballing tyres.

“Knees... two, (tick) feet... two (tick), head... one (tick). Perfect! Welcome on board!” grinned the club’s top medical man after the thorough 10-second once-over.

“Now if you just want to head to the physio room... Klaas-Jan, this is Pepe, Pepe, this is Klaas-Jan... Klass-Jan, this is Wesley, Wesley, this is Klaas-Jan... Klaas-Jan, this is Gaby Heinze, Gaby Heinze, this is Klaas-Jan...”

LLL Prediction - Away win

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