The Undies-Flogging Weekend Predictions - Round 15

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Xerez (20th) vs Barcelona (1st)

Put every penny you own or can beg, steal or borrow on a 2-0 win for Barcelona on Saturday night.

And perhaps go for a victory with goals from Henry and Zlatan, if you're feeling really, really frisky.

LLL Prediction - Away win

Athletic (7th) vs Osasuna (11th)

Just because Athletic Bilbao happen to be another member of the Basque brotherhood, it doesn’t mean that Osasuna will stop their laudable tradition of despising every side that doesn’t hail from Pamplona.

Saturday’s Round 15 opener is set to be a fantastic affair of hoofs, long balls and despicable lunges as two teams not widely known for their pretty, expansive football batter each other into submission on a pitch that could well be an icy Thunderdome of doom.

“The match is going to be attractive, stylish and passionate,” claimed Osasuna midfielder Jokin Esparza, adding that “two teams enter, one team leaves.”

LLL Prediction - Home win

Sevilla (3rd) vs Getafe (8th)

Even the normally emotionally insensitive La Liga Loca feels a bit of tension in the air down at Getafe after comments from club president Angel Torres that he was going to loan out the manager’s son Adrián to either a second division outfit or abroad, due to the fact that he has played more than five Primera games.

The fairly hopeless - but no worse than many others - midfielder has been a target of boos and jeers from the Coliseum crowd for no other reason that it is a fun way to pass the time, and it seems that Torres has had his fill of the fans’ fury.

“The pressure on him is enormous as the supporters are so unforgiving,” claimed the Getafe owner.

But a tetchy Big Daddy did not seem at all pleased by this cunning winter window plan and refused to be drawn on the subject in Thursday’s press conference, saying that he counted on all 23 of his players - even rubbish goalkeeper Jordi Codina - and would not give in to the wishes of the Coliseum crowd.

“I’m not going to chose a line-up based on the opinion of a group of fans,” stropped the green cardigan-clad Michel.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Real Madrid (2nd) vs Zaragoza (18th)

La Liga Loca's not sure what was worse for poor Pepe:

Knowing that he would be missing the rest of the season and possibly the World Cup through his cruciate ligament injury, or having photographers from both Marca and AS shoving cameras into his unnervingly small face just hours after his surgery in Oporto.

Pepe’s rather groggy looking pinhead stares out from the front covers of both papers on Friday.

But what stands out most from the rather distressing images is the footballers' hospital pyjamas - light blue and covered with funny green frogs’ heads and what appears to be either comedy aliens or fried eggs. 

AS reports that the non-crocked Madrid players will be preparing a surprise for their team-mate ahead of their clash with Zaragoza on Saturday.

Except that it won’t really be that much of a surprise for two big reasons.

Firstly, the paper reveals what it is going to be. And secondly, walking out in T-shirts with the logo ‘Animo Pepe!’ is not a great burst of brilliance from the Bernabeu brainboxes.

Strangely, no T-shirts of support are planned for Guti, who has disappeared completely ever since the first Alcorcón clash from October thanks to an unfortunate series of injuries.

The most recent of these is a leg-knack which should have healed some two weeks ago but is still troubling the madcap midfielder.

LLL Prediction - Home win


Valladolid (13th) vs Sporting (9th)

Having been in the freezing wastelands of Valladolid for three-and-half seasons, coach José Luis Mendilibar can be considered one of the true Napalm-smelling veterans of la Liga.

However, it seems that his number may well be up in the months to come, for no other reason than the local fans seem to be bored of him.

“His ideas are out-of-date and he plays an archaic style of football,” moans one supporter on Marca’s message board.

However, Mendilibar says that he expects to get a brand new contract from club president Carlos Suárez despite a somewhat disappointing run of just one league win from 11.

“In spite of the results, he seems really positive. In the past, I’ve been afraid to look him in the eye,” claims the Valladolid manager.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Espanyol (17th) vs Almería (16th)

Eagle-eyed Espanyol fans may have noticed that the blog has written absolutely naff-all about Shunsuke Nakumura since the Japanese player’s signing from Celtic last summer.

And that’s because the midfielder has done diddly-squat to warrant any attention having made just six starts all season, the last of which was November's 4-0 walloping by the mighty Atlético Madrid.

“There’s been a problem with communication and culture,” explained Espanyol boss Pochettino, who agreed that his player’s “adaptation to Spanish football has taken a little longer than expected.”

Part of this reason, explains Mundo Deportivo, is that “Pochettino gives him instructions in training and Nakamura looks at him as if he’s a Martian.”

The paper reveals the stunning insight that an egghead in El Prat-land has come up with the crazy notion of getting an interpreter for Nakamura in the new year.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Málaga (19th) vs Mallorca (5th)

Having witnessed the kerfuffle endured by the late, great Sid Lowe on how sensitive Mallorca are to having articles written about them praising their incredible season so far, despite all the hardships, La Liga Loca shall not speak of those Balearic battlers for a wee while.

Instead, it will be bring you hot news from Sweden and the possibility of a thermonuclear/meatball war with Russia over some dodgy tights. So says

“The mystery surrounding why exactly a Swedish diplomat was selling smuggled pantyhose in a Moscow kiosk grew on Tuesday as the Swedish foreign ministry alleged the Russian media portrayal of the incident was a deliberate smear attempt.

“'They’ve presented the story in a way which deliberately sullies the diplomat’s reputation,' Swedish foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle told The Local.

"The comments come following a report by Russia’s NTV television which shows the 35-year-old Swedish diplomat unloading cartons of nylon stockings from a car bearing diplomatic plates and standing behind the counter of a kiosk in Moscow where the hosiery was being sold.”

LLL Prediction - Home win

Tenerife (12th) vs Atlético Madrid (14th)

La Liga Loca is already rethinking its previous stance having just seen photos in Friday’s Marca of the paper’s director having a jolly jape and giggle with Atlético Madrid president Enrique Cerezo.

And this despite Marca having run a relentless campaign over the past months calling the Rojiblanco bigwig all manner of potentially libellous names and telling him to sling his hook. 

The venue was Atlético’s Christmas bash and the club cunningly saved some cash by getting Cerezo himself to do the stand-up in between the meals - a routine that had them rolling in the aisles.

“2010 will begin really well for us,” tittered Enrique as Diego Forlán’s sides split all over the floor.

v“This side has the strength, heart and desire to get out of this.”

This final gag was just too much for some, with Tomas Ujfalusi’s head falling right off.

However, there was more sniggering to come on Friday, with AS reporting that Atlético are set to renew their efforts to sign Rennes full-back Rod Fanni.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Deportivo (6th) vs Valencia (4th)

Last week, Deportivo published their accounts ahead of Saturday’s AGM and announced that the club’s debt had been reduced by €38 million to €122m over the past year.

“Hurrah!” was the immediate reaction from some quarters.

“Really?” was the response from others, who wondered exactly how this was achieved considering no significant funds had been raised through transfers during the period in question.

Marca is reporting that the accounts released by Deportivo may not quite be what they first appear and note that some queries made by auditors examining the documents have yet to be answered by the Galician bean-counters.

Club president Augusto Lendoiro is facing a fun Saturday in front of the fans in explaining himself and questions raised by a UEFA investigation into possible false signatures being used to sign the club’s accounts in the 2007/08 period.

“Our lawyer did tell me that there were some problems on the special UEFA report,” admitted Lendoiro.

LLL Prediction - Draw

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