The straw-chewing, Málaga-baiting weekend predictions

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Mallorca (9th) v Sporting (15th)
Poor Sporting full-back José Angel is currently caught in a bit of a tug-of-love - but not in the Ever Banega sense - and being pulled between Malaga, his boyhood side where he was raised from a wee nipper, and Fiorentina, who have reportedly made a €4m for the 21-year-old – a whole million more than Málaga.  However, as it stands José Angel is a still a Sporting player, albeit a particularly grumpy one who is “fed up” of being yanked around.
LLL Prediction - Home win

Málaga (19th) v Zaragoza (16th)
Some six days after Málaga’s clash with Valencia, which saw two players and Manuel Pellegrini sent off, fans of the southern side are still hopping mad – and waving-fists and shouting-at-LLL-for-10-minutes mad, when the blog made a joke to one particularly sensitive supporter about the ref being a good one in last Saturday’s encounter.

“Disgrace!” “We were robbed!” went the cries. For a very long time. However, another Málaga fan and minor shareholder has gone one step further by reporting referee Rubinos Pérez to the authorities in the hope they will charge the official with an infraction of a law which probably doesn’t exist.
LLL Prediction – Home win

Levante (20th) v Getafe (10th)
An awful run of form for Getafe which sees the side without a league win in four – and some real hammerings along the way – would normally produce a self-preserving rant from the club president if it were any other side. Well, Atlético Madrid, anyway.

But certainly not in the lovely warm surroundings of Getafe, where bigwig Angel Torres has spread the love despite witnessing two hopeless home defeats in a row. “I have confidence in the dressing room and the players that we’re going to finish eighth. It wouldn’t be a disaster not to play in Europe as we are not obliged to. We are Getafe, the objective is to stay up” – a slogan that, to LLL’s mind, sounds perfect for the club crest.

It’s certainly an improvement on the club anthem played before and after games, anyway, which cries “Lucha Getafe!” - ‘Fight Getafe!’ - but over a crackly PA sounds rather like “Puta Geta!”, which means something very different indeed.
LLL Prediction – Away win

Real Sociedad (11th) v Almería (18th)
Wisest words of the week come from Almería coach José Luis Oltra, who now faces the task of having to either knock six goals past Barcelona - or take them to penalties - whilst stopping Pep’s Dream Boys from scoring in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final second leg clash.

“Our challenge now is to change the image of Almería and to try to win the return leg rather than mount a comeback which feels impossible.”
LLL Prediction - Home win

Hércules (12th) v Barcelona (1st)
Reasons to really dislike Hércules, part 67. This one relates to another outburst from the buffoon of a club president, Valentín Botella, who has now decided that Royston Drenthe has been a waste of space presence at the club in the first half of the season – an opinion that seems to have developed ever since the Dutchman got a bit uppity about not being paid for his footballing services.

Despite two goals and three assists in Drenthe’s 11 appearances, the on-loan Real Madrid winger apparently has “to change and do his part, if not it will be tough,” threatened Botella. “I’m a bit upset, the number of games he’s played with Hércules have been minimal for what he costs and the performances he’s been giving.”

Considering Drenthe has barely cost anything at all – along with the rest of his playing staff – LLL would suggest that the Hércules president is getting a bit of a bargain.
LLL Prediction - Away win

Deportivo (13th) v Sevilla (8th)
Last weekend's 1-0 loss to Zaragoza sent Deportivo manager Miguel Angel Lotina a little doolally – an unfortunate event which saw him raging against his own players. “They went out onto the pitch to see what would happen, and if they won then great,” complained Lotina. “They impression they gave me was that they weren’t conscious of the importance of the game.”

During the week, the offending players have dribbled out their responses and they are not happy bunnies at all. “These are declarations against the whole team,” noticed the ever-observant Riki, “they didn’t go down to well. I’m 100% with my teammates.”
“I don’t regret anything,” warned the Don of Deportivo. “When I send a message I hope for a reaction.”
LLL Prediction – Away win

Atlético Madrid (7th) v Athletic Bilbao (6th)
Whilst Atlético Madrid president Enrique Cerezo was off in Miami to celebrate “Enrique Cerezo Day” in the city, the other side of the two-headed monster in charge of the Rojiblancos , Miguel Angel Gil, came out of relative hiding (for him) to announce that he had received huge offers for the club’s star players but had refused them all.

The son of Jesús Gil and the club’s part “owner” (that’s a long story) claimed that Real Madrid had made a €45m offer for Kun Aguero – news, it seems, to Cerezo – and that Chelsea were offering €60m for the Argentinian forward and defender Diego Godín.
But those weren’t the only statements that no-one in Spain actually believed. The real zinger came when the side’s Director General soothed that “Quique will be the coach of Atlético until 30th June.”

“If I had been here, none of this would have happened,” sighed Cerezo on returning from his jolly in Florida to find a bit of tizz at the Vicente Calderón.
LLL Prediction – Home win

Osasuna (17th) v Real Madrid (2nd)
Some two days later, the debate over Sevilla’s goal/non-goal is still raging, with radio and TV stations gathering together hacks to shout “Yes it was!" "No it wasn’t!” for an hour or so without any ground being given. The Valencia footballers were even pictured at Thursday’s training gathered around a goal-line recreating the polemical incident.

The whole affair could become the focus for a scientific study to discover how one simple image can alter the perceptions of those viewing it depending on existing prejudice and whether or not they are a Barcelona, Sevilla or Real Madrid fan.

The other news from Mordor is the arrival of José Mourinho’s lusted-after No.9 in the form of Emmanuel Adebayor – and the departure of Mahamadou Diarra, who is hopping off to Monaco.
LLL Prediction - Away win

Espanyol (5th) v Villarreal (3rd)
All season, LLL has been underestimating Espanyol’s ability to maintain a remarkable run which sees them in a very solid fifth place. Therefore, it's not going to make the same mistake for a seventh time by dooming them unnecessarily after the sales, this week, of defensive stalwarts Didac Vila to Milan and Víctor Ruiz to Napoli.

But that can’t be good.
LLL Prediction - Away win

Racing Santander (14th) v Valencia (4th)

The sale of Racing Santander from the local council and a bunch of straw-chewing diary farmers to apparently loaded businessman Ahsan Ali Syed – a gentleman who reportedly owes a fair amount of money in the UK in council tax – was supposed to have been finalised on Monday. But it wasnh’t.

Ali Syed was supposed to have travelled to Spain to seal the deal but hasn’t been able due to unknown problems reports AS. However, Saturday has now been named as the day when Racing will be taking an almighty leap into the unknown.
LLL Prediction - Away win