Episode 161: A look at Argentina’s friendlies and River extend their lead

16 Oct

In the hundred and sixty-first episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam and Andrés look back on Argentina’s two recent friendlies in China – in Beijing against Brazil and in Hong Kong against Hong Kong (although neither of us saw the latter). We explain why the AFA won’t be getting any money themselves from the Hong Kong match, before looking at the weekend’s Primera action, which saw River Plate emerge as the big winners – other sides stumbling, combined with River’s 1-0 win away to Newell’s Old Boys, means the champions have a four point lead at the top of the table. We also belatedly preview this weekend’s Rosario clásico between Central and Newell’s, among much more.

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

Episode 160: A very wet superclásico, Lanús keep the pressure on & Tigre’s revival continues

10 Oct

The hundred and sixtieth episode of Hand Of Pod is a chance for Sam, Andrés and Peter to review Sunday’s superclásico, in which River Plate and Boca Juniors played out a 1-1 draw in an extremely wet Estadio Monumental. A poor refereeing performance, a farcical pitch and, above all, an awful lot of rain were on the agenda for Sam (who was lucky enough to be there), whilst the others enjoyed it from the warmer and drier surroundings of their sofas. Elsewhere, Tigre made it three league wins out of three under Gustavo Alfaro, Lanús kept the pressure on River at the top of the table by beating Rosario Central, and Independiente’s good run continued with a highly entertaining 2-2 draw away to Godoy Cruz. All this and some typically interesting listeners’ questions are right here. Enjoy!

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

Episode 159: The October 2014 Superclásico preview

2 Oct

In the hundred and fifty-ninth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam is joined by Andrés, Gustavo and Joel to preview this Sunday’s clash between River Plate and Boca Juniors in the Monumental. We give an overview of the history of the fixture (and who better to guide us through it than Joel, who wrote the book on the rivalry?), and bring things up to date with a look at how both sides’ campaigns have gone so far. A look at last weekend in the Torneo de Transición follows, with Newell’s Old Boys’ unbeaten record brought to an end by Banfield, and Racing starting to look competent again (give it a week…). The superclásico on Sunday will be live to the world for free on YouTube via Fútbol Para Todos’ channel – this is the only preview you need for it.

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

Episode 158: Martino’s first Argentina squad, a possible format change & more

25 Sep

The hundred and fifty-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and English Dan discuss Gerardo Martino’s first real Argentina squad, after he was obliged to name an AFA-imposed one for the friendly against Germany earlier this month. We discuss why Carlos Tevez wasn’t included, and what the inclusions of Erik Lamela and Javier Pastore tell us about where Martino is going with his side. The AFA are talking about reverting the format of the league back to a 20-team top flight from 2016, and we have a weekend of action to look back on including yet another River Plate victory – this time a 4-1 thrashing of third-placed Independiente (which explains why Peter was mysteriously unavailable this week).

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 ninth round predictions
Estudiantes v Vélez
Independiente v Central
San Lorenzo v Gimnasia
Atlético de Rafaela v Olimpo
Boca v Quilmes
Tigre v Defensa y Justicia
Belgrano v Racing
Lanús v River
Newell’s
v Banfeld
Arsenal v Godoy Cruz

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

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