Tension in Galicia as Celta Vigo and Deportivo prepare for last-day relegation scrap
Saturday 1st June
Real Madrid (2nd) v Osasuna (16th) - 17.00 (local time)
Here is your Real Madrid-super-fast-news-track, for those with neither the time nor inclination to find out what is going on at the Santiago BernabÃÂ©u. Saturday is the deadline for anyone rich enough (or with wealthy enough friends) to put themselves forward to face Florentino PÃÂ©rez in the clubÃ¢ÂÂs presidential elections.
Carlo AncelottiÃ¢ÂÂs move to Madrid has apparently been made even more complicated by the nine-month suspension handed out to PSG Sporting Director Leonardo for pushing a referee. AS are still having a mini sulk against Florentino, referring to the Madrid man as a Ã¢ÂÂpre-candidateÃ¢ÂÂ and criticising the incumbent for presenting a five year shirt sponsorship deal at an inappropriate time.
LLL Prediction - Home win
Barcelona (1st) v MÃÂ¡laga (6th) - 19.00
There were some very difficult scenes in the Barcelona press room on Thursday, with the club announcing that Eric Abidal would not be offered a new deal once his current contract ends in June. Ã¢ÂÂI would've liked to have carried on playing with BarÃÂ§a, but the club saw things differently and I have to respect that,Ã¢ÂÂ said the emotional Frenchman in front of the media and teammates.
Ã¢ÂÂNot renewing AbiÃ¢ÂÂs contract is a professional decision,Ã¢ÂÂ said BarcelonaÃ¢ÂÂs Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta. Ã¢ÂÂIt was a tough decision, itÃ¢ÂÂs these that weigh heavy on you when you go to sleep,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted the former goalkeeper.
LLL Prediction - Home win
Granada (15th) v Getafe (10th) - 21.00
This match represents the final, last, ultimate, no-more-chances opportunity for Getafe to sneak into Europe. If the Coliseum club finish in ninth and MÃÂ¡laga and Rayo fail in their appeals against UEFA bans from next seasonÃ¢ÂÂs Europa League, then the final spot for La Liga will be GetafeÃ¢ÂÂs. The problem is that the Madrid club are both tremendously unreliable and quite unambitious, although midfielder MÃÂchel did at least state that Ã¢ÂÂif we donÃ¢ÂÂt finish ninth then I wonÃ¢ÂÂt be looking happy.Ã¢ÂÂ
LLL Prediction - Home win
Sevilla (9th) v Valencia (4th) - 21.00
This match certainly has some juice flowing through it. Sevilla still have Europa League qualification hopes through the same legal back passage as Getafe. Unai Emery is in charge of the Andalusian club. Unai Emery was in charge of Valencia, steering the side into third place for three years in a row before last summer being told his services were no longer required in Mestalla.
Current Valencia boss Ernesto Valverde only has to better Real SociedadÃ¢ÂÂs result to finish in fourth and move through to the Champions League qualifying phase. The matter of whether Valverde will be in charge for those qualifying games is still unclear, with a meeting on the coachÃ¢ÂÂs future having been postponed until Monday. So much back-story, so little time...
LLL Prediction - Draw (Valencia to finish fifth)
Deportivo (17th) v Real Sociedad (5th) - 21.00
Oh, this is going to be good. Two rain-sodden, Sean Bean-type northerners slugging it out to either survive in the top flight or play in the Champions League. LLL is dribbling in inappropriate places just thinking about the game. So is Deportivo boss, Fernando VÃÂ¡zquez, whose teamÃ¢ÂÂs destiny is in their own hands with an advantage in terms of points over the current bottom three. Ã¢ÂÂWe have a marvelous challenge,Ã¢ÂÂ beamed the former English teacher, Ã¢ÂÂwe canÃ¢ÂÂt think about failing, only that we are going to win. It will be tough losing in Riazor, with this positive energy thatÃ¢ÂÂs around us.Ã¢ÂÂ
LLL Prediction - Away win (Deportivo down, Real Sociedad in Champions League)
Celta Vigo (18th) v Espanyol (12th) - 21.00
It was set to be a grim day in Galicia, with both Primera clubs from the kingdom of fish and high-powered, police evading speed boats set to go down, according to LLLÃ¢ÂÂs earlier infallible predictions.
Watching CeltaÃ¢ÂÂs potential demise from the sidelines will be striker Mario Bermejo, who is out of action until November with a knee injury. Ã¢ÂÂWe are expecting two hours of high tension convinced that if we win, then we will have a great chance,Ã¢ÂÂ said Bermejo.
A big question put to the forward by Marca was whether Espanyol might be persuaded by some means to lay down their arms on Saturday night. Ã¢ÂÂThe Espanyol players are professionals and will be coming to win,Ã¢ÂÂ was the retort from the Segunda-bound forward.
But despite that, LLL has changed its mind - yet again - and now believes Celta will win and avoid the 'dreaded drop'. Which will be very nice for them.
LLL Prediction - Home win (Celta to stay up)
Mallorca (20th) v Valladolid (14th) - 21.00
ItÃ¢ÂÂs not looking good at all for Mallorca. Only a victory and a freaky combination of results can keep the Balearic club up, which is why the side only has a 4% chance of surviving. LLL puts that down to about 1%, given Tomer Hemed has busted his Achilles tendon and Giovani dos Santos may have to leave for international duty with Mexico, due to the Spanish League being unable to finish the season on time.
Meanwhile, over the Pucela world, coach Miroslav Djukic announced that SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs clash would be his final as Valladolid boss. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs the time to look for new challenges,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted the Serbian, who went on to castigate his footballers for doing too well. Ã¢ÂÂIt was a three year project, but the players are to blame as they completed it in two,Ã¢ÂÂ joshed Djukic, who may well be Valencia-bound, should Ernesto Valverde chose not to stay on in Mestalla.
LLL Prediction - Home win (Mallorca to go down)
Zaragoza (19th) v AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid (3rd) - 21.00
If Zaragoza go down, then the scenes in La Romareda are not going to be pleasant. Indeed, even if the Aragonese side stay up, the atmosphere may be a little on the poisonous side. A campaign is building to force ZaragozaÃ¢ÂÂs owner, Agapito Iglesias, to leave the club ASAP. Ã¢ÂÂIt is not so much as the players or coaches as much as the management,Ã¢ÂÂ noted MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs Zaragoza correspondent Sonia Gaudioso, hinting at the real reason why Zaragoza are constantly having problems both on the pitch and with the institutionÃ¢ÂÂs finances.
The paper reports the supporter opposition groups will be protesting outside the club offices before the match, with a couple of campaigns against Iglesias during the game too.
LLL Prediction - Home win (Zaragoza to go down)
Levante (11th) v Betis (7th) - 21.00
A match that doesnÃ¢ÂÂt look like a thriller on paper does at least have something riding on it. Betis need a point to guarantee Europa League football next season, which would be fantastic for the club. Meanwhile, Levante could be joining the Seville side in foreign lands if MÃÂ¡laga and Rayo continue to be banned from next seasonÃ¢ÂÂs competition and the club finishes higher than Sevilla or Getafe in the final league table. Probably.
LLL Prediction - Draw
Rayo Vallecano (8th) v Athletic Bilbao (13th) - 21.00
There's extra reason for Rayo Vallecano to celebrate a fine season. The clubÃ¢ÂÂs administrators have given the go ahead on a deal that keeps manager Paco JÃÂ©mez at the club until 2015. However, things are not so clear at Athletic Bilbao, despite Marcelo Bielsa chewing the fat with the press for 80 minutes on Thursday on the past, present and future for the club.
Perhaps the highlight of the epic session, during which the Argentinean took the blame for the poor handling of the Fernando Llorente situation and for the likes of Iker Muniain underperforming, was the coachÃ¢ÂÂs calculations on how Athletic should have been higher up the league table. Ã¢ÂÂ In terms of merits, we should have got 24 points more and 13 points less,Ã¢ÂÂ announced El Loco.
LLL Prediction - Home win