Episode 237: Tearing up the formbook, and yet more AFA nonsense

20 Oct

The two hundred and thirty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés convene on a rainy evening in Buenos Aires to discuss a weekend in which a storm blew through the Argentine formbook: three previously unbeaten members of the Big Five lost for the first time this season, as did Colón – who also conceded for the first time in this campaign. Estudiantes’ defence was finally breached as well, although they managed to win anyway in a wildly entertaining 3-2 romp over Rosario Central, whilst Boca Juniors and San Lorenzo both made clear their title ambitions are for real with wins of their own. Off the pitch there’s yet more chaos at the AFA, with people accusing other people of failing to comply by FIFA directives in spite of a) the people in question having been put in place by FIFA and b) the directives in question being NINE YEARS OLD. There’s never a dull moment in the world of Argentine football administration…

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Mystic Sam’s seventh round predictions (last week Mystic Peter got 4/15)
Sarmiento v Olimpo
Talleres v Defensa y Justicia
Quilmes v Lanús
Godoy Cruz v Belgrano
Temperley v Independiente
Colón v Patronato
Racing v Arsenal
River v Atl. Rafaela
Gimnasia v Huracán
Banfield v Vélez
Central v Newell’s
Tigre v Unión
San Lorenzo v Estudiantes
Atl. Tucumán v Boca
Aldosivi v San Martín

Episode 236: What is wrong with Argentina?

13 Oct

The two hundred and thirty-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Peter convene to discuss the recent World Cup qualifying double-header: like the midfield on Tuesday night in Córdoba, there’s not an Argentine in sight. We give our thoughts on two bafflingly below-par performances which saw Argentina gain just one point and lose a home World Cup qualifier for the fourth time ever, consider which names we would (and wouldn’t) like to see in the national team setup, and more. And at the end, Peter provides his predictions of what will happen in this weekend’s Primera matches, because Sam forgot to ask any listeners to do the same.

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Mystic Peter’s sixth round predictions (two weeks ago Mystic Liam got 8/15)
Defensa y Justicia v Banfield
Belgrano v Aldosivi
Vélez v Colón
Atl. Rafaela v Racing
Huracán v Temperley
Estudiantes v Central
San Martín v Talleres
Independiente v Atl. Tucumán
Lanús v Godoy Cruz
Olimpo v Tigre
Boca v Sarmiento
Newell’s v Gimnasia
Arsenal v San Lorenzo
Patronato v River
Unión v Quilmes

Episode 235: Central hit form, a dull La Plata clásico and upcoming World Cup qualifiers

5 Oct

The two hundred and thirty-fifth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Andrés convene to discuss a weekend of Primera action which saw a very dull derby in La Plata and, at almost the same time, a considerably more dramatic showdown in Banfield, where the hosts came back from an early 2-0 deficit to win 3-2. There was an impressive, if not uncontroversial, win for River Plate over Vélez Sarsfield, yet another failure to win away from home for Boca Juniors, and a first home win for Ricardo Zielinski as Racing manager. As well as all this we discuss why plans to force Liniers to get a football pitch which actually fits the regulatory definition of the phrase ‘football pitch’ are a great loss for Argentine culture, and turn our attention to less important matters such as Argentina’s upcoming World Cup double-header, and how they’ll do without Lionel Messi.

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Episode 234: Estudiantes maintain their lead, Bauza names his second Argentina squad & more

29 Sep

The two hundred and thirty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod is a two-man job, with Sam and Andrés discussing yet another win for Estudiantes, who’ve now won four out of four at the start of the league season, and two more points dropped for River Plate in a thrilling match, as well as an impressive Darío Benedetto-inspired win for Boca Juniors among plenty more. We then turn our attention to Tuesday’s announcement by CONMEBOL of some exciting (and long overdue) changes to the Copa Libertadores which should prove a great step forward for football across the continent, and look over Edgardo Bauza’s list of call-ups for Argentina’s upcoming World Cup qualifying double header against Peru and Paraguay, the first of which to Sam’s surprise is next Thursday.

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Mystic Liam’s fifth round predictions (last week Mystic Chris got 10/15!)
Quilmes v Olimpo
Godoy Cruz v Unión
Central v Arsenal
Aldosivi v Talleres
Temperley v Newell’s
Racing v Patronato
River v Vélez
San Lorenzo v Atlético de Rafaela
Belgrano v Lanús
Banfield v San Martín
Gimnasia v Estudiantes
Sarmiento v Independiente
Colón v Defensa y Justicia
Tigre v Boca
Atlético Tucumán
v Huracán

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
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