Episode 233: Estudiantes open up a lead, Boca and River both stumble

22 Sep

In the two hundred and thirty-third episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Remi and Tony discuss a weekend of action which saw Estudiantes take a two-point lead ahead of River Plate at the top of the table, thanks to a 2-0 win over Atlético Tucumán before River were held at home to San Martín. Boca Juniors also dropped points, and questions marks once again hang over the team, while Atlético de Rafaela picked up a shock win over Gimnasia (who’d started the weekend joint top with River and Estudiantes) which might prove crucial come the end of the season in the relegation battle.

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Mystic Chris’s round four predictions (last week Mystic Bob got 6/15)
Olimpo v Godoy Cruz
Atlético de Rafaela v Central
Newell’s v Atlético Tucuman
Vélez v Racing
Independiente v Tigre
Huracán v Sarmiento
Unión v Belgrano
Estudiantes v Temperley
Patronato v San Lorenzo
Talleres v Banfield
Lanús v Aldosivi
Boca v Quilmes
Defensa y Justicia v River
Arsenal v Gimnasia
San Martín v Colón

Episode 232: River and Boca impress, the Big Five make history and much more

15 Sep

The two hundred and thirty-second episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Fran and Andrés discuss very impressive wins for River Plate and Boca Juniors last weekend, as well as running the rule over early joint-leaders (along with River) Estudiantes de La Plata and Independiente. Last weekend was just the second time in the professional era that all of the Big Five have won to nil on the same weekend, although we caught rather less of Racing’s and San Lorenzo’s matches than we probably should have before attempting to discuss them. Also up for debate: are Rosario Central suddenly a bit crap, or are Vélez Sarsfield rather better than we thought they were? And how is the relegation battle – worth talking about even at this early stage thanks to the promedio system – shaping up?

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

Episode 231: Reviewing Edgardo Bauza’s start as Argentina boss and more

8 Sep

The two hundred and thirty-first episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by Andrés and Tony to look back over two weeks of action: the first round of Primera División season, the highlights of which were a 3-0 away win for Estudiantes over Tigre and 4-1 home victory for River Plate against Banfield, and Edgardo Bauza’s first two matches as Argentina manager, a 1-0 home win over Uruguay and a 2-2 away draw to Venezuela in two rather different performances. Tony predicts this weekend’s matches and other topics up for discussion are why Boca Juniors don’t seem to have improved much at all, and (very briefly) some news about Daniel Passarella.

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Mystic Tony’s second round predictions (two weeks ago Mystic Sam got 5/15)
Patronato v Gimnasia
Huracán v Quilmes
Olimpo v Lanús
Banfield v Colón
San Martín v Racing
Unión
v Aldosivi
Defensa y Justicia v San Lorenzo
Independiente v Godoy Cruz
Newell’s v Tigre
Vélez v Central
Estudiantes v Sarmiento
Boca v Belgrano
Talleres v River
Arsenal v Atlético Tucumán
Atlético de Rafaela v Temperley

Episode 230: Previewing the new season & Jonathan Wilson on his new book

25 Aug

At long last, the Hand Of Pod 2016-17 season preview is here! Sam is joined by Andrés and Tony to look over the main transfer moves and some of what we can expect from the main contenders on the pitch in the coming months, as well as explaining why we can only be definitely assured of football until December, for the moment. We also preview Argentina’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers at home to Uruguay and away to Venezuela, since there will be no HOP next week as Sam’s off to Mendoza to cover the former. And there’s a chat with Jonathan Wilson, who tells us a bit about his new book on the history of Argentine football, Angels With Dirty Faces – why he wrote it, some of the things he uncovered and more.

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

Episode 229: a review of all the winter madness

18 Aug

Hand Of Pod is back from a long, dark, at times a little bit chilly winter break! Rejoice! We were planning to preview the upcoming season this week, but since it’s been put back by a week, Sam and Fran instead take the opportunity to bring you up to speed with at least some of the stuff that’s happened off the pitch in Argentine football in the last couple of months – and there’s a lot to get through, from Lionel Messi’s international retirement (and decision to keep playing after all) to Gerardo Martino and his coaching staff standing down en masse, and from the introduction of a FIFA Normalisation Committee to run the AFA to the temporary hiatus on the introduction of the long-awaited SuperLiga because they couldn’t get a statute written and approved in time. We’ve got all this and more this week, so enjoy!

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Episode 228: ¡Lanús campeón!, and previewing the Copa América Centenario

3 Jun

The two hundred and twenty-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés look back on a weekend of two entertaining games in which Estudiantes saw off Godoy Cruz for third place (and thus don’t have to wait to find out whether they’ll be in the Copa Libertadores next season) and Lanús thrashed San Lorenzo 4-0 in the Monumental in the championship final to be crowned kings of Argentina for the second time in their history. We ask what’s next for various clubs, look at Boca Juniors’ Copa Libertadores reinforcements so far, and have a discussion of the ridiculous (even by their standards) goings-on at the Argentine FA in the last week or so, before previewing Argentina’s hopes in the Copa América Centenario and answering listeners’ questions. We’ll be back after the international competition, so enjoy it!

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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.