Emery backs Barcelona as favourites in race for top four

Unai Emery believes Barcelona could be favourites in the race for a top four finish in la Liga.

The top four race is about as intense as ever, with a number of teams in with a shout of securing Champions League football.

We saw one of the most defining games yet in the race on Sunday when Barcelona defeated Atletico Madrid 4-2.

But we also saw Villarreal see off third place Real Betis to move within three points of Barca, albeit having played a game more.

And the race is now looking like being a very exciting one, with Villarreal very much in the frame as they look to secure Champions League football for successive seasons.

Depending on how Real Betis hold out, currently five points ahead of Villarreal and four ahead of Atletico, there could be two spots available.

But Villarreal boss Emery believes Barcelona are favourites for one given their recent transfer activity.

“Barcelona have had an important transfer window that gives them momentum,” said Emery after his side’s impressive win over Betis.

“It’s Barcelona and despite the crisis they recover as the big team they are because they have options.

“With today’s victory, they take a step forward that the rest acknowledge.

“It will be difficult that they don’t reach the Champions League, and Atletico Madrid, the same.

“Betis, Real Sociedad, Valencia, us, we will all fight.

“It will be competitive and beautiful. We are battling back from a start that was not good and we know it.”

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