Episode 157: Rain halting play, Tigre turning form round and a dull La Plata clásico

19 Sep

The hundred and fifty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés beging with a look back at Sunday evening, when one-and-a-third matches (the last half hour of Boca v Racing, and the whole of Arsenal v River) were called off due to some ‘orrible weather in (Greater) Buenos Aires throughout the day. We wish good luck to Jonás Gutiérrez in his fight against testicular cancer, and look back on the matches last weekend which actually did get played; Independiente have gone joint second, along with Newell’s Old Boys, whilst Vélez Sarsfield have slumped somewhat in recent weeks. Oh, and we also have the Dwarf Priest of La Plata to talk about, as we look back on one La Plata clásico (in the Copa Sudamericana on Tuesday) and forward to another (in the league on Saturday).

As ever, Mystic Sam’s previews for this weekend’s matches are below. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s eighth round previews
Quilmes v Lanús
Estudiantes v Gimnasia
Olimpo v Belgrano
Vélez v Atlético de Rafaela
Godoy Cruz v Tigre
Central v Arsenal
Banfield v Boca
River v Independiente
Defensa y Justicia v San Lorenzo
Racing v Newell’s

Episode 156: River Plate extend their lead & more nonsense from the AFA

13 Sep

In the hundred and fifty-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Peter and Andrés are joined, surprisingly, by Neil Clack and we discuss a week of enormous confusion in the headquarters of the Argentine Football Association; dates have been moved back and forth for not one, not two, but three different competitions, but we give you the definitive say on when the superclásico will be played: it’s the 5th October. Well, it was when we recorded anyway. Who knows when it will be now. We also talk about River Plate’s continued impressive performances, ask whether Boca are improving in anything more than results, spend a good deal of time laughing at Racing (well, they make it so easy for us) and tack on a quick bit of chat at the end about Colombia’s World Cup captain Mario Yepes, who looks like he’s joining San Lorenzo.

As ever, Mystic Sam’s predictions for this weekend are below (by the time this episode was uploaded, Gimnasia v Defensa y Justicia had already come and gone, and landed him a correct prediction with Defensa running out 3-0 winners). You can subscribe to us on iTunes and Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter too.

Mystic Sam’s seventh round predictions
Gimnasia v Defensa y Justicia
San Lorenzo v Godoy Cruz
Tigre v Central
Atlético v Estudiantes
Independiente v Quilmes
Lanús v Banfield
Belgrano v Vélez
Boca v Racing
Arsenal v River
Newell’s v Olimpo

Episode 155: Bianchi sacked, River go top, Di María’s star showing for Argentina & more

5 Sep

The hundred and fifty-fifth episode of Hand Of Pod is a rather long one, because we’ve had a lot to cover; Sam, Peter and Andrés are joined by a special guest, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Sebastian Hassett, who’s been touring South America since the World Cup finished. We have two rounds of domestic action to look back on since the last episode, and those have included the sacking by Boca Juniors of Carlos Bianchi, their victory (and impressive performance) over Vélez Sarsfield in the first match of new man Rodolfo Arruabarrena’s spell in charge, River Plate going top of the table with another couple of very good showings, Tigre manager Fabián Alegre finally being sacked after a year of solid defending but disappointing attacking… oh, and also a few Copa Sudamericana games, the Avellaneda clásico in which Independiente beat Racing 2-1, and the small matter of an Ángel Di María-inspired Argentina thrashing Germany 4-2 in Düsseldorf on Wednesday – we take it as an excuse to discuss the impact he could have for Manchester United, as well as looking at how Gerardo Martino’s Argentina might be made up.

Mystic Sam’s predictions for the sixth round are below. Don’t forget you can subscribe to us on iTunes and Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s sixth round predictions
Atlético v Gimnasia
Vélez v Newell’s
Estudiantes v Belgrano
Banfield v Independiente
Central v San Lorenzo
Godoy Cruz v Defensa y Justicia
Racing v Lanús
River v Tigre
Olimpo v Boca
Quilmes v Arsenal

Episode 154: A glut of goals, Vélez have maximum points and crisis at Boca Juniors

26 Aug

The hundred and fifty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod is one of those rare episodes which clocks in at well under an hour. Sam is joined by English Dan for a daytime recording, looking back on a goal-filled weekend of action in the Primera which saw no fewer than three 4-0 scorelines and a 3-3 – this season still hasn’t produced any goalless draws. Vélez Sarsfield and River Plate particularly impressed, whilst a 3-0 win for Atlético de Rafaela – their first ever in La Bombonera – has plunged Boca Juniors still deeper into crisis.  We wonder how much longer Carlos Bianchi can cling on as manager, and whether Boca’s problems run deeper than simply having let Juan Román Riquelme go during the winter transfer window. There’s a midweek round (or two-thirds of one, at least) on Tuesday and Wednesday, hence the early recording of this episode.

As ever, Mystic Sam’s fourth round predictions are below. You can subscribe to HOP on iTunes and on Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s fourth round predictions (including the postponed games originally scheduled for Thursday)
Belgrano v Gimnasia
Olimpo v Independiente
Racing v Arsenal
Atlético v Newell’s
Central v Godoy Cruz
River v Defensa y Justicia
Estudiantes v Boca
Banfield v Tigre
Vélez v Lanús
Quilmes v San Lorenzo

Episode 153: Running the rule over Rojo and Fernández, an excellent showing from River and more

23 Aug

Sam, Peter and Andrés begin Hand Of Pod 153 with a look at two of the biggest Argentine moves in the European transfer window so far – World Cup star Marcos Rojo’s move from Sporting to Manchester United, and World Cup flop Federico Fernández’s transfer from Napoli to Swansea City. We ask how much the World Cup really told us about both players’ levels. We then look back on the second weekend of Primera División action, which saw a superb performance from River Plate, a comfortable 2-0 win for Racing over newly-crowned champions of South America San Lorenzo, and an undeserved but potentially morale-boosting victory for Boca Juniors away to Belgrano, as well as a rollicking five-goal thriller between Banfield and Defensa y Justicia, two of the promoted sides. Enjoy.

As ever, you can subscribe to HOP on iTunes and Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter. Mystic Sam’s predictions for the third round (at the time of uploading, Arsenal have already beaten Olimpo 1-0, and Tigre have, erm, handed out a 4-0 thrashing to Racing(!)) are below.

Mystic Sam’s third round predictions
Arsenal v Olimpo
Tigre v Racing
Gimnasia v Central
Newell’s v Belgrano
Independiente v Vélez
San Lorenzo v Banfield
Lanús v Estudiantes
Defensa y Justicia v Quilmes
Boca v Atlético
Godoy Cruz v River

Episode 152: San Lorenzo win the Libertadores, Martino is the new Argentina boss & more

16 Aug

On the hundred and fifty-second episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Peter, Andrés and Joel are joined by Neil Clack, a former resident of Buenos Aires and author of Animals! The Story of England v Argentina, who is visiting BA again after a few years away. We’ve got a lot to talk about, starting with San Lorenzo’s first ever Copa Libertadores win on Wednesday night. We also discuss Gerardo Martino’s unveiling as Argentina manager after Alejandro Sabella stood down, Juan Sebastián Verón’s announcement that he’ll stand for the Estudiantes de La Plata presidency in September, yet more potential messing around with the league structure… oh, and the first weekend of league action, because that happened as well. It’s a long one, but we hope you’ll enjoy it.

Mystic Sam’s second round predictions are below, as ever (Newell’s v Gimnasia has already been played, and ended 1-1). You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher (or both), and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s second round predictions
Newell’s v Gimnasia
Olimpo v Tigre
Banfield v Defensa y Justicia
Vélez v Arsenal
Estudiantes v Independiente
Quilmes v Godoy Cruz
Racing v San Lorenzo
River v Central
Belgrano v Boca
Atlético v Lanús

Episode 151: previewing the Torneo de Transición and more

8 Aug

In the hundred-and-fifty-first episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Santi, Andrés and Peter have a lot of explaining to do. That’s because the new season is upon us, and it behoves us to explain why we’re entering a ‘transitional championship’ and what exactly we’re transitioning to (erm, we don’t really know at this stage, and the AFA don’t seem 100% decided either). We ask which sides did best in the winter transfer window, which sides did worse, and whether Racing can once again flatter to deceive having apparently strengthened impressively. Can River Plate defend their title? Will Boca Juniors finally step out of Juan Román Riquelme’s shadow? These and many more issues are dealt with. We also take a look at San Lorenzo’s Copa Libertadores final, which is currently 1-1 after the first leg, with the second leg to come in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.

Mystic Sam’s predictions for the first round are below. Don’t forget your subscription options: we’re available on iTunes or Stitcher, and are also on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s first round predictions
Godoy Cruz v Banfield
Central v Quilmes
Arsenal v Estudiantes
Defensa y Justicia v Racing
Independiente v Atlético
Boca v Newell’s
Gimnasia v River
Tigre v Vélez
Lanús v Belgrano

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