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ESPN unveil comprehensive coverage plans for El Clasico

American soccer fans have skyrocketed the viewership game lately

ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes are joining forces to broadcast the 257th edition of El Clasico, one of the most anticipated rivalries in soccer. This article provides a detailed overview of their coverage plans, including pre-match build-up, match commentary teams, and post-match analysis.

The rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid is legendary. Currently leading with 104 victories to Barcelona's 100 in El Clasico matchups, Los Blancos also hold an eight-point lead over their rivals on the LaLiga table. A victory for Real on Sunday, April 21st could secure them their record 36th Spanish top-flight title. However, a win for Barca could shake up the standings as we head into the final stretch.

This season has seen two face-offs already between these titans with Real emerging victorious both times. The first defeat for Barca came in October when Jude Bellingham scored a dramatic match-winning goal during added time. The second was during the Supercopa de España Final held earlier this year in Saudi Arabia.

ESPN to start pre-match build-up before two days

The much-anticipated match will kick off at 3 p.m ET on Sunday, April 21st and can be streamed live on ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes with commentary from Ian Darke & Steve McManaman (English) and Ricardo Ortiz & Mario Kempes (Spanish). Unfortunately for some viewers who prefer English-language television networks won't have access to this iteration of El Clasico as it will only be broadcasted in English on ESPN+.

ESPN is set to start its preparations two days before kickoff with a special edition of La Peña de LALIGA airing live at 2 p.m ET on Friday, April 19th. The show will feature insights from Rodrigo Fáez, Moisés Llorens, and Gemma Soler.

An hour later, an El Clasico-themed edition of ESPN FC will be broadcast on ESPN2 featuring regulars such as host Dan Thomas and analysts Craig Burley, Alejandro Moreno and Luis Garcia. Sebastian Salazar and Soler will join the presenters live from California and Madrid respectively.

Post-game also includes some add-ons to make it a package

ESPN's coverage extends beyond the match itself with a comprehensive pregame show starting one hour before kickoff on both ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes. The English-language portion of the show will be handled by the aforementioned ESPN FC crew while Sid Lowe, Soler as well as former Barca star Patrick Kluivert are joining in for additional coverage.

On the Spanish side of pregame discussions, Ricardo Puig, Mauricio Pedroza, Hugo Sanchez along with former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas will host live from California on ESPN Deportes. Reporters Martin Ainstein and Llorens are also contributing from Madrid.

Following these extensive pregame shows is the actual match at 3 p.m ET with Ian Dark & Steve McManaman providing English commentary on ESPN+ while Ricardo Ortiz & Mario Kempes call out in Spanish on ESPN Deportes. A one-hour postgame analysis is scheduled after the fixture ends to dissect all key moments of this high-stakes match-up.

Whether you're a sports fan or a sports betting enthusiast looking forward to El Clasico between Real Madrid vs Barcelona - there's plenty to look forward to thanks to comprehensive coverage plans by both ESPN+ & ESPN Deportes.

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