ESPN decided to broadcast an upcoming LaLiga matchup between Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano on ESPN2. The move is fairly unusual, as most Spanish top-flight games are typically available on ESPN+ or ESPN. The fixture between the two sides is set for Thursday, May 25 at 4 p.m. ET.
Real hunting its fourth trophy of the season
Real Madrid, despite a disappointing LaLiga showing, is in the midst of another trophy-laden season. While they are sitting third in the Spanish top flight, Real have won the UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, and Copa del Rey titles. Los Blancos can collect the Champions League as well. They are currently in the semifinals against Manchester City.
The May 25 matchup against Rayo would occur after the second leg fixture against the Premier League side. City clawed back to finish the first leg of the tie level at 1-1 thanks to a second-half strike by Kevin De Bruyne. The two teams will complete the matchup on May 17 in Manchester.
Rayo vying for Europe against Real Madrid on ESPN2
Rayo is in the middle of a fairly positive 2022/23 campaign as well. Although Los Franjirrojos are not a European powerhouse like Real, they are performing well in LaLiga this season. In fact, Rayo currently sits ninth in the Spanish top-flight table, just one point away from a European place.
Also based in Madrid, Rayo has only managed to qualify for European competition once in their 98-year-old history. This came during the 2000/01 campaign in the UEFA Cup. Rayo made the quarterfinals of the tournament that season.
ESPN most likely made the move to put the Real-Rayo match on ESPN2 for these compelling reasons. Real could be preparing for a Champions League Final matchup. While Rayo could quite possibly be vying for a Europa Conference League position. The fixture will also be available to stream on ESPN+.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Pressinphoto
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