Episode 211: previewing the 2016 Primera División championship

5 Feb

Hand Of Pod is back for 2016, and Sam is joined by Andrés, Fede and Fran to preview another transitional championship, confusing format, stupid non-existent clásicos and all! We run the rule over which sides had good summers, which had indifferent ones and which had bad ones – where do some of the recent big hitters need to improve after disappointing last year, and who apart from Rosario Central are best placed to break the Big Five, who were resurgent in 2015? As well as this we’ve a change to the Mystical segment of HOP for this year – we want you to send in your predictions, and each week one lucky listener will get to try and beat the score set by Sam on this opening weekend. Can’t be that hard, can it…?

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Mystic Sam’s first round predictions
Huracan
v Atlético de Rafaela
Banfield v Gimnasia
Central v Godoy Cruz
Aldosivi v Olimpo
Argentinos v Tigre
Patronato v San Lorenzo
San Martín v Newell’s
Temperley v Boca
Independente v Belgrano
Defensa v Unión
River v Quilmes
Colón v Arsenal
Atlético Tucumán v Racing
Estudiantes v Lanús
Sarmiento v Vélez

Episode 210: River’s Club World Cup campaign, AFA elections, playoff results and more

24 Dec

The two hundred and tenth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Andrés and Gustavo meet for a post-Hannukah (and pre-Christmas) podcast roundup of the last month in Argentine football, starting with River Plate’s runners-up spot in the Club World Cup – and some alternative ideas for a format which could produce a more equitable tournament – and then looking back at the Argentine FA’s hilarious/disastrous attempt to elect a new president earlier this month. We then give an overview of the final playoff results for the Copa Libertadores and Sudamericana qualification places, and have a quick look at Tuesday’s Libertadores group stage draw. Merry Christmas to all our listeners, and you’ll hear from us again in 2016! HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Episode 209: Huracán put River out of the Sudamericana semis, and the playoffs so far

28 Nov

The two hundred and ninth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by English Dan, Andrés, Fran and guest Rob Crisp for a brief roundup of the qualification playoffs for the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, and a preview of the finals for same (including a Racing v Independiente double-header for the final Libertadores spot, which is going to be great fun for the neutral). On Thursday night, Huracán reached their first ever continental final, a 2-2 draw at home to Copa Sudamericana holders River Plate giving them a 3-2 aggregate win and meaning River’s amazing run of continental success under Marcelo Gallardo has come to an end, a couple of weeks before they get underway at the Club World Cup. We look back on that tie, on what Huracán have got to shout about and how they might do in the final against Independiente Santa Fe, and at River’s ongoing issues ahead of their trip to Japan. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Episode 208: Argentina finally click in World Cup qualifying, and we gear up for the playoffs

19 Nov

The two hundred and eighth episode of Hand Of Pod is a relatively short one (by our standards), in which Sam and English Dan meet to discuss the encouraging improvement in Argentina’s performances in World Cup qualifying, which in the last week have seen them claim a (slightly unlucky) 1-1 draw at home to Brazil and a 1-0 win way to Colombia. Is Gerardo Martino’s ‘idea’ any clearer, and how will it be affected when Lionel Messi returns to the team? We also look forward to the pre-Sudamericana and pre-Libertadores liguillas (playoff tournaments) which are all that now remain of the Argentine Primera season for 2015, and have a rather inexpert go at working out which teams have been and might still be promoted from the second and third divisions. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Episode 207: We are five! Previewing Argentina v Brazil with Tim Vickery

12 Nov

Episode 207 of Hand Of Pod is a very special one, because on Friday we turn five years old. Sam is joined for the celebration by Andrés, English Dan, Peter and very special guest Tim Vickery, who’s flown down from Rio de Janeiro specially for the occasion. Entirely coincidentally to Tim’s visit (honest), on Thursday night Argentina host Brazil in World Cup qualifying, so after a review of last weekend’s most important league action – which saw Nueva Chicago relegated in spite of an impressive win over Quilmes – and a discussion about our team of the championship, we move on to previewing Argentina v Brazil. There’s plenty of chat throughout about the differences between football in the two countries, from the trends in management (Argentina good, Brazil bad) to player development, in which it seems both countries have something of an imbalance in very different ways. 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 predictions for Argentina’s two upcoming WCQs:
Two draws

Episode 206: Tevez leads Boca to a domestic double, and what’s still to play for?

6 Nov

The two hundred and sixth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan, Andrés and Fede convene to talk about what might be Argentina’s first proper domestic league-and-cup double (although given how young the Copa Argentina is, that’s not quite as historic as it sounds). Carlos Tevez ended up making the difference for a Boca side who got cross the line in the title race on Sunday by beating Tigre, and who owed a large debt of gratitude to an eyecatchingly bad refereeing (and linesmanning) performance in Wednesday night’s Copa Argentina final against Rosario Central. We discuss Boca’s merits and what they need to strengthen ahead of next year’s Copa Libertadores, and look forward to the upcoming final weekend of normal season league action, with a rundown of what’s at stake in each of the matches Mystic Sam predicts. 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 thirtieth round predictions (last week: 8/15)
Lanús v Sarmiento
Estudiantes v Unión
Chicago v Quilmes
San Martín v Arsenal
Defensa y Justicia v Godoy Cruz
Colón v Gimnasia
Temperley v Argentinos
Olimpo v Banfield
Independiente v Vélez
River v Newell’s
Huracán v Belgrano
Atl. Rafaela v San Lorenzo
Central v Boca
Tigre v Racing
Crucero del Norte v Aldosivi

Episode 205: Boca & Central fight for a domestic double, two managers step down on one day and more

30 Oct

The two hundred and fifth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and English Dan joined by Tony, a long-time listener and first-time caller. It’s a bumper edition, as we stick our teeth into last Friday’s Copa Argentina semi-finals, which leave Boca Juniors and Rosario Central – the top two in the league – going head to head in the final next Wednesday in Córdoba. San Lorenzo’s Edgardo Bauza and Racing’s Diego Cocca both announced they’ll be leaving their managerial positions at the end of 2015 mere hours before we recorded, and Bauza in particular will surely have the pick of the continent’s clubs. As well as this, we knew before recording that River Plate and Huracán were in the Copa Sudamericana semi-finals (Independiente played after we recorded, and went out), and there’s an Argentina squad to consider as the team prepare to take on Brazil and Colombia without Lionel Messi in two weeks’ time. All this and much more… 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 twenty-ninth round predictions
Godoy Cruz v Colón
Sarmiento v Chicago
Gimnasia v Atl. Rafaela
Belgrano v Estudiantes
Newell’s v Lanús
Racing v Crucero del Norte
Vélez v River
Unión v San Martín
Banfield v Central
Boca v Tigre
San Lorenzo v Temperley
Aldosivi v Independiente
Quilmes v Huracán
Arsenal v Defensa y Justicia
Argentinos v Olimpo

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