The Shiny Suit-Loving Weekend Predictions - Round 9 which Real Madrid's potty-mouthed vice-captain is carpeted, Barcelona's mini-magician is measured for his market worth, Sevilla's president attacks a peer, Atletico Madrid ban a banner, Valencia print tour T-shirts and Deportivo La Coruna are tipped for a shock win... 


Real Madrid vs Getafe

After shamelessly protecting Florentino’s presidential posterior in the wake of the Alcorcón defeat, Marca had a brief moment of clarity and returned to being a newspaper for a hour or two.

Although Thursday’s edition had an article by the director Eduardo Inda giving 20 reasons to fire Manuel Pellegrini (including the charming “to artificially prolong someone’s life is to prolong the agony”) the sports daily ran the now-famous story of Guti going postal on Pellegrini and telling him to stick something where the sun doesn’t shine.

Guti was hauled before Real Madrid’s TV channel to explain himself and the midfielder denied speaking to his manager in such a potty-mouthed manner.

All in all, it was a good week for Guti who will be fined for being two hours late for Sunday’s training and will be fined, once again, for sticking his finger up at Alcorcón supporters during Tuesday’s cup encounter. 

Friday’s Marca editorial stands by their story on Madrid’s vice-captain, with the column remarking that “we’ll keep telling the truth and only the truth.”

La Liga Loca suspects that all may not be well in the previously cosy relationship between Florentino and his once-fawning propaganda rag.

The ongoing relationship between the two will depend a lot on how Real Madrid get on against Getafe in the weekend’s opening clash at the Bernabeu.

While Madrid could have done with a Racing-type team who show resistance for 20 minutes before giving up, they face a side who traditionally cause all sorts of problems.

And they will cause a few more on Saturday with the cheekiest of away wins. Oh yes.

LLL Prediction - Away win

Xerez vs Sevilla

An Andalusian derby sees one club who have just begun legal proceedings to put them into administration against another which is one of the few sides in Spain which has fairly healthy finances.

Xerez’s financial troubles had the club hauled before the courts to hand over accounts from previous years - accounts which probably took the form of Post-It notes, IOUs and various expense claims for gentleman’s clubs.

The footballers who won promotion to la Primera have yet to receive their bonuses for doing so and are unlikely to get them anytime soon, say AS.

Nor their wages, for that matter.

At the other end of the table, Sevilla president José Maria del Nido has been merrily picking a fight with the King of Catalunya.

Del Nido, who is of the less liberal political persuasion, attacked Barça’s big cheese for his various nationalist engagements and argued that “Juan Lapuerta (sic) is making a huge mistake mixing football and politics.”

La Liga Loca suspects that a ranting reply is already on the way.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Osasuna vs Barcelona

Having seen his son become the bestest and brightest footballer in the world, Jorge Messi has decided that he fancies mining some gold from them there hills.

Marca report that in May Jorge set up a company called “Leo Messi Management SL” to squeeze the mini-magician dry - La Liga Loca’s words, not Marca’s - and had a report made to see how best to present the Barcelona icon to the marketing vultures of the world.

The answer came back saying his particular profile was as a kind, bunny-rabbit loving, Ovaltine-drinking pansy.

“Messi will never advertise luxury cars or top watches. They know that he does not give off glamour or elegance,” says the paper on the report.

Meanwhile, those interested in updates on Pep Guardiola’s famous ‘feeling’ for players will be pleased to know that he is back to having a good one for Carles Puyol, after the poodle-haired defender’s contract renewal.

Unfortunately, AS report that he has lost his ‘feeling’ with Thierry Henry.

Sport have nothing to say on the matter aside from the fact that Pep is great. And Barcelona are great, too.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Athletic Bilbao vs Atlético Madrid

Aside from the appointment of Quique Sánchez Flores and his first match in charge of Atleti - a 2-0 win at Marbella - a sizeable chunk of the week's news in Rojiblanco world has revolved around their repulsive Ultras, Frente Atlético.

The group made the news on Sunday by being invited to training to speak to the players.

“They told us they were with us and they asked us if we felt the same,” revealed captain Antonio López, failing to say whether a negative response would have propelled a jackboot to his knees.

Athletic Bilbao then announced that the group were not welcome to Saturday’s clash because of the trouble they always cause up in the Basque country.

If that wasn’t enough, photos appeared in the press appearing to show security guards in the Vicente Calderón taking away a banner from a group of fans.

With La Liga Loca have personally seen all manner of banners incorporating Nazi imagery being waved in the stadium without a problem, the blog was somewhat surprised to see that the offending banner from last Saturday’s game was campaigning against racism.

“It restricted some people’s view,” claimed the club.

Nonsense, said Marca in reply.

LLL Prediction - Home win


Villarreal vs Tenerife

If portly, smug men in shiny suits hugging each other yanks your crank or floats your boat, then Tuesday’s Marca was the world’s greatest bongo mag.

It featured the previous evening’s Marca Awards and 10 pages of photographs of the Spanish game’s bigwigs fondling away and pretending to be best buddies, despite the fact that they generally loathe each other.

The highlight of the evening for La Liga Loca was seeing the now retired Megía Dávila getting the referee of the year award from the paper - an award which has nothing to do with him also being hired by Real Madrid this season, and being pictured in a Madrid shirt in Tuesday’s edition of Marca confessing his love of the club from childhood.

One problem with Monday’s star-studded event was that it wasn’t star-studded.

That’s because the Spanish League were hosting their own awards on the same night in another part of Madrid.

And this meant that, in recognition for his 29 league goals in his side’s promotion-winning campaign, poor old Tenerife striker Nino had to leg it from one event to the other to pick up both his Best Second Division Striker awards.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Espanyol vs Valladolid

Although Raúl Tamudo is still training with Espanyol, there is still no clue as to his immediate future with the club.

Personally, La Liga Loca reckons that a freebie-shift to Anfield would work well.

Instead, the papers report that the rodent-resembling goal-getter has sent his crack team of agents in to discuss the terms of his departure from the club where he made his league debut back in 1997.

Against Hercules. When he scored. 

LLL Prediction - Home win

Mallorca vs Racing

Although everything is going tickety-boo for Mallorca on the pitch, with the side unbeaten at the Ono Estadi and in sixth place, the Balearic club is still in financial trouble with a long list of creditors to its name.

Some of those include players, but everyone will get their loot by next June says Mallorca's Delegate General, Javier Marti Asensio.

And this makes La Liga Loca wonder if a club scraping to get by from day to day actually needs a Delegate General.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Zaragoza vs Almería

It’s certainly warm in Madrid for this time of year.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Málaga vs Valencia

Despite being bottom of the table and without a league since the first round of the campaign, Málaga’s bosses are being admirably patient in regards to the future of the impossibly long-named Juan Ramón López Muñiz.

But that patience may run out on Sunday evening should there be another defeat, this time at the hands of a Valencia side who are on match three of a four-game road trip.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Deportivo vs Sporting

A week in the world of La Liga Loca wouldn’t feel right without a report of a club president in court, accused of some kind of financial naughtiness.

So, it’s to Deportivo where the blog must turn with the story that pork-meister general Augusto Lendoiro found himself up before a judge facing accusations that he forged the signature of an auditor in order to get a UEFA Certificate reporting that all was well with the club to allow it to play in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup.

The Deportivo president denies the charge, the responsible La Liga Loca should point out at this stage.

LLL Prediction - Home win (1-0)

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