Former Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde believes Real Madrid are the favourites to land the Spanish league title this season.
Valverde won La Liga in both of his full seasons in charge of the Catalan giants and the team were top of the league when he was dismissed from his position last month.
However, new Blaugrana boss Quique Setien oversaw a recent 2-0 loss at Valencia and with Los Blancos winning every match in the timeframe since, they have built up a three-point lead at the top.
Madrid have not lifted the league title since 2017 and indeed Barcelona have dominated the competition in recent times, winning eight of the last 11 titles on offer.
“Madrid are strong and very focused on the league title,” Valverde responded when asked who he thought were favourites to win La Liga this season, as cited by Cadena Cope.
“I have tried to distance from everything that has happened, and this month the only match I have watched is Athletic Club against Barcelona.”
Valverde was sacked by Barcelona last month following the club’s exit from the Spanish Supercopa after a 3-2 loss against Atletico de Madrid.
The club have subsequently also exited the Copa del Rey while they will face Napoli in the Round of 16 in the Champions League.