The Barcelona boss says victory over Betis would provide a timely boost to supporters after their Champions League exit, while praising the efforts of Cesc Fabregas
The Blaugrana can seal the domestic crown should they secure three points on Sunday and Real Madrid fail to beat Valladolid, and although he acknowledged the threat posed by Betis, Vilanova is anxious to give supporters a timely boost by sealing silverware sooner rather than later.
“It is a very important match because we know that a win would leave us in a good position to win the league," he told a press conference ahead of Sunday's clash with Betis.
"The sooner we get three points, the better. We want to give the fans a boost. Why wait until the last match if we can win the league before then?
“It’s a team that has always caused us problems, including when they were in the second division, in the Copa del Rey," he said of Saturday's opponents.
"We had a hard time earlier in the season. Players like [Ruben] Castro and [Jorge] Molina are very good in space and have created problems for us."
Vilanova also revealed that Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets are likely to return to action after coming through recent training sessions unscathed, and lamented the injury problems which have beset his side this season.
“They have trained well but we’ll have a final check on Sunday," he said. "In training the stresses are more controlled and it’s not the same as a match.
"We’ve had fewer controllable injuries than last season but more of the ones that you can’t do anything about, in the joints."
Vilanova went on to pay tribute to Cesc Fabregas, despite the attacking midfielder coming in for criticism from some quarters following his side's emphatic Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.
“He’s a top class player," the 44-year-old said.
"Last season he was the team’s second highest scorer and he’s going the same way this season. In the last few matches he’s given us a win with a goal against Levante and against Mallorca he scored two. He’s a big asset to the team."