Real Madrid and Barcelona face tough run of fixtures

Anthony Lozano Girona Copa del Rey 01242018

Anthony Lozano Girona Copa del Rey 01242018

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema scored twice to help the European champions secure a 3-1 victory over Girona on Thursday as they progressed to the Copa del Rey semifinals 7-3 on aggregate.

Spain's big two then meet in La Liga a few days later on Saturday 2 March.

The first leg will be on Wednesday in Barcelona, with the return match in Madrid on February 27, just before their Spanish league game at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on March 3.

"If we are at our level we will go through", Barcelona director Guillermo Amor said. "It's going to be a great tie".

Two-time cup winners Real Betis will host Valencia in the opening leg of the other semifinal with the second game played on February 27 at the Mestalla stadium.

"We are delighted with him for how he manages the squad and that is important because there are times when it is not easy to live with so many players of that level and that everyone is happy". "We are talking about two teams with a lot of resources, with extraordinary players, and we always expect very tight games".

Barcelona are top of La Liga, five points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid and 10 ahead of Real in third. Four days after that, Madrid travels to the Netherlands to face Ajax in the last 16 of the Champions League. Their last meeting was in the 2014 final, which Real Madrid won for its last title in the competition.

Real Madrid's upcoming fixture list does not paint a prettier picture.

The Copa del Rey final will take place on 25 May at the Benito Villamarin stadium for the first time in the tournament's history.

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