By 90Min
February 02, 2019

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has spoken highly of Real Madrid's turnaround in form this season, after the two sides were drawn together in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Los Blancos started the campaign in a post-Cristiano Ronaldo rut and were well off the pace at the top of the league table, while they also lost both Champions League group stage matches against CSKA Moscow - including a 3-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabéu.

MLADEN ANTONOV/GettyImages

Before that defeat against the Russia giants on home soil, Real Madrid had dropped 19 points in La Liga. During that run, as well as losing three games on the bounce, the club sacked Julen Lopetegui and appointed Santiago Solari. 

They've only dropped five points since that most recent defeat to CSKA Moscow, and Barcelona manager Valverde insisted that Real's turnaround in form has set up a mouthwatering semi-final in the Copa del Rey.

"It will be a great tie between two great teams who are both fighting to win La Liga and the Champions League," Valverde said, quoted by the Daily Mail

"All of this makes for an excellent spectacle for both the teams and the fans alike. It is bound to be a fascinating tie and it will be interesting to see who makes it through to the final. 

"They were going through a poor run of form in the league but they have turned it around and we know that it will be a tough match."

Not only is Barcelona's general form better this season - they're 10 points ahead in the table - but they also have the bragging rights following their meeting earlier this season.

TF-Images/GettyImages

Back in October, Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal scored either side of a Luis Suárez hat-trick to inflict a 5-1 defeat onto Real Madrid. It was their first four-goal loss to Barça since 2015 and the first time they'd conceded five goals to the Catalan side since 2010. 

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