Barcelona are La Liga favourites, says Laudrup

The Danish coach, who played for both the Catalans and Real Madrid, thinks Champions League elimination might actually help in pursuit of domestic glory

Michael Laudrup believes Barcelona will edge out Real Madrid as his two former clubs battle to become Spanish champions.

Luis Enrique's Barca are currently two points clear of the European champions with six games to go, with the title race set to go down to the wire unless one suffers a dip in form.

Laudrup is well aware of the intense rivalry between the Liga heavyweights having played at Camp Nou for five years until swapping Barca for Real Madrid in 1994, where he resided for two seasons.

The Dane, who currently coaches Qatari club Lekhwiya, suggests Champions League elimination at the quarter-final stage might actually help whoever exits Europe when it comes to domestic glory.

“It is very difficult to tell who will win La Liga this season,” Laudrup said in an interview with World Cup 2022 organisers “They both have some tough games remaining.

“Four points was a good margin, now it’s down to two so it is tough. Also what happens in the Champions League will have an impact, because if one goes out and the other goes through that means two more games to play.

“They both want to win everything - they are prepared and capable - so it will be nice to watch. As a spectator this part of the season is great to watch.

“I still consider Barcelona to be favourites because they are in front, but one bad game and you are behind. Of course it is always better to be in front; [Madrid] have to win and hope that [Barca] lose.”

Carlo Ancelotti's men look the more likely of the Spanish arch-rivals to exit Europe as they drew the first leg of their quarter-final with Atletico Madrid 0-0 at the Vicente Calderon.

Barca, on the other hand, would need to completely implode to be dumped out of the Champions League as they defeated Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 last Wednesday.

The Catalans host PSG on Tuesday before Real Madrid host Diego Simeone's side at the Santiago Bernabeu 24 hours later.