Episode 227: Farewell Diego Milito, and previewing the weekend’s championship final

26 May

The two hundred and twenty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Andrés discuss the last weekend of ‘regular season’ action from Argentina’s Torneo de Transición 2016, which saw a lot of dead rubbers including an emotional farewell to Diego Milito as the Racing legend played his final match. Also discussed are where River Plate’s campaign went wrong, and the meaningful games which saw Argentinos Juniors relegated, San Lorenzo qualify for Sunday’s championship final against Lanús and Godoy Cruz left having to face Estudiantes for a place in next year’s Copa Libertadores (to the losers: probably also a place in next year’s Copa Libertadores. It’s very silly). All this and much more await!

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Last week, Mystic Alex got 5/15. This weekend, the panel’s predictions for the two matches are unanimous that Estudiantes will beat Godoy Cruz to third place, while Andrés and Dan think Lanús will win the title, and Sam thinks San Lorenzo can do it.

Episode 226: Everything you need to know about relegation, final and Libertadores qualification

19 May

This coming weekend wraps up the group stage of the 2016 Primera championship, and Hand Of Pod 226, with Sam, Andrés and Fede, contains all you need to know about the permutations. Godoy Cruz and San Lorenzo remain separated only on goal difference in their quest to qualify for the championship final against Lanús; one of them will take on either Estudiantes or Atlético Tucumán for a place in next year’s Copa Libertadores group stage, whilst Argentinos Juniors and Sarmiento are the two sides involved in the relegation battle – although others need to keep racking up points too, because for reasons we go into in the second half of the podcast, we still don’t know how many teams will be relegated next season. Rosario Central’s and Boca Juniors’ chances in the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals are also up for discussion.

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Mystic Alex’s sixteenth round predictions (last week Mystic Latam Football got 7/15)
Newell’s v Atlético Tucuman
Vélez v Patronato
Tigre v Aldosivi
Atlético de Rafaela v Argentinos
Arsenal v River
San Lorenzo v Banfield
Belgrano v Central
Boca
v Defensa y Justicia
Gimnasia v Colón
Unión v Estudiantes
San Martín v Godoy Cruz
Lanús
v Huracán
Quilmes v Independiente
Olimpo v Sarminento
Racing v Temperley

Episode 225: Lanús cross the line, Central & Boca fly the flag in the Libertadores

12 May

The two hundred and twenty-fifth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés joined by Killian to look back over a weekend of league action which saw Lanús secure a place in their championship final by winning Group 2 with two matches to spare, whilst the race for the top of Group 1 remains neck and neck between Godoy Cruz (who are ahead on goal difference) and San Lorenzo. Now that River Plate are definitely out of the Copa Libertadores, there’s the opportunity for some discussion of their struggles since winning last year’s Copa, and Rosario Central and Boca Juniors are the only Argentine sides left standing in the continental competition. As well as this, we have some talk about club finances and political goings-on at the AFA which we’re sure you’ll find just fascinating.

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Mystic Latam Football’s fifteenth round predictions (last week the Mystic Die got 2/15)
Huracán v Unión
Atlético Tucumán v San Martín
Defensa y Justicia v Racing
Godoy Cruz v Belgrano
Colón v San Lorenzo
River v Gimnasia
Independiente v Arsenal
Argentinos v Lanús
Temperley v Newell’s
Sarmiento v Tigre
Aldosivi v Atlético de Rafaela
Central v Quilmes
Estudiantes v Boca
Patronato v Olimpo
Banfield v Vélez

Episode 224: Lanús close in, Godoy Cruz win again and Argentina’s Copa América shortlist

5 May

The two hundred and twenty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod is short but sweet with plenty of food for thought. Lanús and Godoy Cruz continue to look like the two favourites for the title playoff – indeed, Lanús could confirm their place with two matches remaining depending on results this weekend – whilst last year’s bigger sides all had underwhelming weekends due to Copa Libertadores commitments (Huracán went out on Tuesday night; River Plate and Racing followed them shortly after this episode was recorded). As well as this, we run the rule over Gerardo Martin’s 40-man Copa América squad shortlist, answer listeners’ questions, and predict what results will be like this weekend with the help of a die, to see whether it really is just pot luck…

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The Mystic Die’s predictions for round 14 (last week Mystic Gav got 2/15)
Unión – Argentinos
Quilmes – Godoy Cruz
Newell’s – Defensa y Justicia
San Martín – Temperley
Vélez – Colón
San Lorenzo – River
Racing – Estudiantes
Arsenal – Central
Lanús – Aldosivi
Atlético Tucumán – Belgrano
Boca – Huracán
Atlético de Rafaela – Tigre
Gimnasia – Independiente
Olimpo – Banfield
Sarmiento v Patronato

Episode 223: A very dull round of derbies, Copa Libertadores knockout rounds begin & more

28 Apr

The two hundred and twenty-third episode of Hand Of Pod was recorded by Sam and Andrés in a rather cold living room, because it’s chilly in Buenos Aires at present and no gas in Sam’s building means no central heating in Sam’s building. The dedication we show to this podcast… anyway, we discuss a weekend of clásico action in which not very much happened, apart from one or two appalling fouls and some decent goals (but not many of them at all). Other topics covered are the AFA’s need for new TV rights and national team kit deals (they need money from anyone who’ll give it to them, so if you’ve ever wanted to sponsor a major international football team…), and the chances Argentine clubs have in the Copa Libertadores.

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Mystic La Liga Gav’s predictions for round 13 (last week Mystic Phil got 6/15)
Aldosivi
v Unión
Estudiantes v Newell’s
Colón v Olimpo
Patronato v Atlético de Rafaela
Independiente v San Lorenzo
Belgrano v Quilmes
River v Vélez
Godoy Cruz v Arsenal
Huracán v Racing
Defensa y Justicia v San Martín
Argentinos v Boca
Central v Gimnasia
Tigre v Lanús
Temperley v Atlético Tucumán
Banfield v Sarmiento

Episode 222: Copa Libertadores group stage round-up and much more

22 Apr

The two hundred and twenty-second episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Andrés discuss the Copa Libertadores group stage, which has finished (or had almost finished, when we recorded) with five of Argentina’s six clubs qualifying for the last sixteen – San Lorenzo are the odd one out. Boca Juniors’ transformation under Guillermo Barros Schelotto continues apace; they’ve now scored ten goals in their last two matches, which isn’t great news for their next opponents. Those next opponents are River Plate, of course, because this weekend is clásico weekend across the league, and Phil Carney is our Mystic Guest Predictor. All this and much more…

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Mystic Phil’s twelfth round predictions (last week Mystic Jose got 4/15; matches in red are clásicos)
Atlético de Rafaela v Patronato
Vélez v Argentinos
Olimpo v Aldosivi
Unión v Colón
Arsenal v Defensa y Justicia
San Lorenzo v Huracán
Godoy Cruz v San Martín
Lanús v Banfield
Gimnasia v Estudiantes
Newell’s v Central
Boca v River
Racing v Independiente
Belgrano v Atlético Tucumán
Tigre v Sarmiento
Quilmes v Temperley

Episode 221: Racing’s inconsistencies, River’s ongoing problems and some Libertadores mathematics

15 Apr

The two hundred and twenty-first episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by Andrés and English Dan to look back on another goal-packed weekend of Primera action which saw Vélez Sarsfield hand Rosario Central their first home defeat in nearly a year and a half, Lanús get a well-deserved win over Banfield in the clásico, and Huracán claim victory by the odd goal in seven over San Martín. Racing are having consistency problems, and travel to La Paz next week in need of a result against Bolívar (a one-goal defeat or better) to qualify for the Copa Libertadores knockout stage. English Dan is bullish about their chances. River Plate also continue to have issues, but in spite of a 2-1 defeat away to São Paulo on Tuesday will still almost definitely be in the last sixteen, whilst Boca are already there, Central sealed their place just after we recorded, and San Lorenzo are out.

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Mystic Jose’s predictions (last week Mystic Mr Numbers got 6/15)
Sarmiento v Colón
Gimnasia v Godoy Cruz
Lanús v Atlético de Rafaela
Atlético Tucumán v Defensa y Justicia
Newell’s v Huracán
Boca v Aldosivi
Unión v Tigre
Racing v Argentinos
San Lorenzo v Rosario Central
San Martín v Estudiantes
Vélez v Independiente
Temperley v Quilmes
Patronato v Banfield
Olimpo v River
Arsenal v Belgrano

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