Episode 192: Boca stay top of the league, River’s Libertadores final first leg and more

31 Jul

In the hundred and ninety-second episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam is joined by Andrés and Remi to look back on a week which saw Boca Juniors strengthen their position at the top of the league with a backs-to-the-wall win away to Belgrano after San Lorenzo had dropped points against Godoy Cruz. River Plate’s reserves beat Colón, but the main focus of River’s week was Wednesday night’s Copa Libertadores final first leg away to Tigres, from which they took a 0-0 draw. Other topics up for discussion are the relegation battle (which increasingly looks rather an easy one to predict the outcome of) and a large variety of listeners’ questions, ranging from Nueva Chicago’s politicised fanbase to Racing’s chances of defending their title. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Mystic Sam’s nineteenth round predictions (last week: 6/15)
Atlético de Rafaela v Aldosivi
Estudiantes v Chicago
Argentinos v Godoy Cruz
Colón v Independiente
Central v Sarmiento
Racing v Belgrano
Boca v Unión
San Lorenzo v Gimnasia
Olimpo v Newell’s
Temperley v Vélez
Crucero v Huracán
Banfield v Arsenal
Tigre v Quilmes
San Martin v Lanús & Defensa y Justicia v River are both postponed.

Episode 191: River Plate reach the Copa Libertadores final, Boca stay top of the league and more

23 Jul

The hundred and ninety-first episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés in a good mood after River Plate’s qualification for the final of the Copa Libertadores for the first time in 19 years. A 1-1 draw with Guaraní in Asunción, with Marcelo Gallardo signings Tabaré Viudez and Lucas Alario combining for the crucial goal, proved decisive and next week River will face Tigres of Mexico in the first leg (we didn’t know this when we recorded). As well as River in the Copa, there’s also a full weekend of Argentine league action to look back on, including River reserves’ 5-1 tonking of Atlético de Rafaela, and wins for San Lorenzo and Boca Juniors (on Carlos Tevez’s return to La Bombonera) which mean it’s still Boca-San Lorenzo-River in a 1-2-3 at the top of the league table. Andrés also has a preview of this weekend’s biggest league match, the clásico rosarino between Newell’s Old Boys and Rosario Central. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Mystic Sam’s eighteenth round predictions (last week: 7/15)
Aldosivi v Temperley
Gimnasia v Crucero del Norte
Sarmiento v Tigre
Unión v Banfield
Independiente v Atlético de Rafaela
Vélez v Olimpo
Huracán v Estudiantes
Newell’s v Central
Quilmes v Racing
Godoy Cruz v San Lorenzo
River reserves v Colón
Lanús v Defensa y Justicia
Belgrano v Boca
Chicago v San Martín
Arsenal v Argentinos

Episode 190: Boca top the table ahead of Tevez’s return & River take a first leg Libertadores lead

16 Jul

The hundred-and-nintieth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by Andrés, Fede and long-time HOP listener but first-time HOP contributor Johnny to look back over an eventful week. Boca Juniors leapfrogged San Lorenzo into top spot in the league, getting a gritty 1-0 win away to Sarmiento after both San Lorenzo and River Plate had been held to draws earlier in the weekend. For River, at least, there was the consolation of a fine performance and 2-0 win on Tuesday night in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores semi-final against Guaraní of Paraguay – the second leg will be next Tuesday in Asunción. On Monday, as well as a Vélez Sarsfield v Tigre match which saw a dramatic finish, there was Carlos Tevez’s unveiling at La Bombonera, to which around 40,000 people showed up – Boca fans Fede and Johnny give us their thoughts on Carlitos’ return and what it means for the team. As well as all this, we have a look at a few managerial debutants, including Gabriel Heinze, who Sam believes is the first graduate of both the Ferguson and Bielsa schools of football management (i.e. he played under both of them). HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Mystic Sam’s seventeenth round predictions (last week: 9/15)
San Lorenzo v Arsenal
Banfield v Belgrano
Atlético de Rafaela v River
Carlos Tevez FC Boca v Quilmes
Defensa y Justicia v Nueva Chicago
Colón v Lanús
Olimpo v Aldosivi
Racing v Sarmiento
Crucero del Norte v Estudiantes
Temperley v Independiente
Tigre v Newell’s
Central v Vélez
San Martín v Huracán
Gimnasia v Godoy Cruz
Argentinos v Unión

Episode 189: reviewing Argentina’s Copa América campaign and previewing the return of the Primera

8 Jul

Hand Of Pod returns as the Argentine Primera gears up to enter the second half of 2015. Sam and Andrés are here to review Argentina’s Copa América campaign, which saw a second major final in a year, but a second disappointment at the last hurdle. Where do the national team go from here, which players matched up to expectations, who fell short and which younger stars should perhaps be given a chance to shake things up in the coming months? As well as this we look at Carlos Tevez’s return to Boca Juniors and Javier Saviola’s and Lucho González’s to River Plate, consider the other main moves in the transfer market, and answer a few questions from our wonderful listeners, as ever. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Mystic Sam’s sixteenth round predictions
Arsenal v Gimnasia
Estudiantes v San Martín
Lanús v Atlético de Rafaela
Quilmes v Banfield
Belgrano v Argentinos
Huracán v Defensa y Justicia
River v Temperley
Unión v San Lorenzo
Sarmiento v Boca
Godoy Cruz v Crucero del Norte
Independiente v Olimpo
Newell’s v Racing
Chicago v Colón
Aldosivi v Central
Vélez v Tigre

Episode 188: The 2015 Copa América preview episode!

11 Jun

The hundred and eighty-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Andrés and English Dan gather for an uncharacteristically early recording session, defying a national strike to see to it that you get your weekly dose of nonsense. We begin with a look at the last weekend of action in the Argentine Primera, in which San Lorenzo’s lead at the top was cut by Boca Juniors with a thumping 4-0 win at home to Newell’s Old Boys, but River Plate threw away the chance to stay level with Boca by only drawing away to Olimpo. Dan’s presence means Racing are up for discussion again, but the main focus is of course the Copa América, which gets underway on Thursday evening when hosts Chile take on Ecuador. We give you the lowdown on (in our opinion) the main contenders – using Sam’s newly-patented ‘how many players in their mid-twenties do each squad have?’ metric (eat your heart out, Nate Silver!), and of course go particularly big on Lionel Messi & co., who are looking to finally claim Argentina’s first senior trophy since the 1993 Copa. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Episode 187: San Lorenzo lead as Boca lose again and River get a controversial win

4 Jun

In the hundred and eighty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Andrés and Gustavo meet to discuss the penultimate weekend of Primera División action before the league breaks for the Copa América. San Lorenzo are out on their own at the top due to a win over Quilmes combined with Boca Juniors losing for a second successive week, this time away to Vélez Sarsfield. River Plate got a slightly controversial win over Rosario Central, prompting us to ask whether Ramiro Funes Mori is the Argentine league’s answer to John Terry (because he seems to get away with a penalty decision every game, not all the… other stuff); we also look back on River’s Copa Libertadores progression last week, and Racing’s exit to Guaraní, both of which happened after episode 186 was recorded. As Gustavo is here, there’s a roundup of lower division action as well, focussing mainly on the Nacional B so far this year. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Mystic Sam’s fifteenth round predictions (last week: 4/15)
Banfield v Sarmiento
Gimnasia v Unión
Argentinos v Quilmes
San Lorenzo v Belgrano
Temperley v Lanús
Colón v Huracán
Crucero del Norte v San Martín
Godoy Cruz v Arsenal
Atlético de Rafaela v Chicago
Boca v Newell’s
Central v Independiente
Olimpo v River
Racing v Vélez
Defensa y Justicia v Estudiantes
Tigre v Aldosivi

Episode 186: The Argentine reaction to the FIFA arrests, Argentina’s Copa América squad and more

28 May

In the hundred and eighty-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam is joined by Andrés to discuss another lively week. There’s talk about the reaction in Argentina to this week’s FIFA arrests in Zurich, and how they affect Argentina (oh, how we wish Julio Grondona had lived long enough to have been bundled into the back of one of those electric cars), though we’re sceptical about how much will change. We then cover last weekend’s league action, during which Aldosivi dismantled Boca Juniors’ unbeaten league record and San Lorenzo beat Sarmiento to move joint top – River Plate’s chance to join them didn’t come, as their game away to Tigre was the only Primera game of the weekend to be delayed by the AFA decision to cancel the remainder of the weekend’s matches out of respect for Cristian Gómez, the Paraná defender who died of a heart attack during his side’s game against Boca Unidos on Sunday afternoon. We were deeply pessimistic about River’s chances of Copa Libertadores progression just after this episode was recorded, but as it happened we should have been more cheery – River got a 3-0 second leg win to qualify for the semi-final. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s fourteenth round predictions (last week: 3/14)
Quilmes v San Lorenzo
Newell’s v Banfield
Belgrano v Gimnasia
Unión v Godoy Cruz
Independiente v Tigre
Sarmiento v Argentinos
Chicago v Temperley
Vélez v Boca
San Martín v Defensa y Justicia
Estudiantes v Colón
Aldosivi v Racing
River v Central
Arsenal v Crucero
Huracán v Atlético de Rafaela
Lanús v Olimpo

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