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Prem Forecaster: The relegation race

Premier League
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Fabregas: Madrid still favourites

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas says Real Madrid are still the favourites to win the title.

• La Liga: Barca battle back to win

Barca had trailed by ten points last month, but Madrid's successive draws against Malaga and Villarreal have allowed their rivals back into the title race.

A 4-1 victory over Real Zaragoza on Saturday night leaves Pep Guardiola's men just three points off the top, but Madrid can double their advantage should they defeat Valencia on Sunday night and Fabregas insists Los Blancos remain the most likely.

"They're still favourites to win it," he said on the club's official website. "We weren't expecting to be three points behind Real Madrid at this point in the competition, but there's a lot of Liga still left to be played."

Barcelona had to come from behind to beat Zaragoza, and Fabregas acknowledged that it was a "difficult match".

"The conditions weren't optimal, but the team played with a lot of character - we deserved the victory," he said. "The conditions were difficult: the pitch, the wind and because we played against a rival that complicated the game. They're playing for everything.

"It was a very hard-fought match. Despite it all, it's a shame to play on a pitch like this, on such a dry field where the ball is so painfully slow. We had a lot of chances that we weren't able to capitalise on."

Coach Pep Guardiola was also relieved to get past a Zaragoza side battling to escape the bottom three.

"We knew how difficult this game was going to be," he said. "This past month Zaragoza have shown that they have a lot of intensity and fortitude. It was extremely difficult and complicated. I'm very proud of our victory."

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