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.

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

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