Episode 185: The fallout from Boca Juniors’ Copa Libertadores disqualification and more

19 May

The hundred and eighty-fifth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Peter talking about the only thing anyone in Argentine football has been discussing in the last few days – the pepper spray-and-acid attack by the Boca Juniors barra brava (or a ‘dissident faction’ thereof) on River Plate’s players which saw the second half of the Copa Libertadores quarter-final superclásico called off, and Boca disqualified from this year’s competition. The political ramifications at the club and for Argentine Security Secretary Sergio Berni (who claimed the security operation had been a roaring success), Boca’s protestations and appeals, whether CONMEBOL were too lenient with their punishment and more are all on the table. The tragic death of Emanuel Ortega which caused the calling-off of last weekend’s league fixtures means Mystic Sam remains almost unchanged in his predictions this time, though there has been one adjustment compared to last week’s readings; he now thinks Estudiantes can win away to Atlético de Rafaela. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Episode 184: One more superclásico, Independiente’s Europe-bound players, Argentina squads and more

14 May

UPDATE: Sadly, since we recorded this episode on Wednesday night, Banfield youngster Emanuel Ortega (on loan to San Martín de Burzaco) died early on Thursday morning of head injuries sustained in a match last week when he collided with a perimeter wall. The AFA have suspended all domestic football across Argentina this weekend. Hand Of Pod’s thoughts are with Ortega’s family and friends. QEPD.

In the hundred and eighty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Peter and Andrés look back on a goal-laden weekend of Primera División action, and on last week’s Copa Libertadores last sixteen first leg between River Plate and Boca Juniors. We consider what River’s 1-0 win means for Thursday night’s return leg, and domestically we discuss Crucero del Norte’s uselessness, Belgrano’s and Rosario Central’s good campaigns, and Independiente’s chances of losing three players to various European clubs, as well as Federico Mancuello’s hilarious red card on Sunday night against Boca, and why he won’t be suspended for this Sunday’s clásico away to Racing, which we also preview. Listen before Thursday’s Libertadores second leg between Boca and River for the full experience, but there’s plenty more in store if you don’t get here until afterwards! HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America. And you can listen to Sam’s live ‘commentary’ on Boca Juniors v River Plate for Rabble TV over here – mute the commentators on your TV/stream, and tune in here instead. He might be drunk by the end of the game, but he’ll probably make at least as much sense anyway.

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

Episode 183: Reviewing Sunday’s superclásico and previewing Thursday’s, plus San Lorenzo and more

7 May

In the hundred and eighty-third episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam and Andrés are joined by Mariano, returning to the pod after a long absence, and new boy Federico, the second of our newly-acquired tame Boca Juniors fans. We look back on Boca’s 2-0 win over River Plate on Sunday in the league, and review the rest of the weekend’s action as well – including some thoughts from Mariano on San Lorenzo’s decline and Copa Libertadores exit. We then preview this Thursday’s clash between River and Boca at the Monumental in part two of the Superclásico Trilogy, in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores last sixteen tie. Will Sunday’s Boca win play a role in either manager’s thinking? Will we see unchanged teams? Which side has more pressure on them, and is a Libertadores last sixteen tie more or less important than a Copa Sudamericana semi-final? All these questions and more are addressed. And this week it’s only an hour and a bit long, so early birds have plenty of time to listen before the match! 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 twelfth round predictions (last week: 4/15)
Estudiantes v Temperley
Lanús v Tigre
Chicago v Central
Quilmes v Godoy Cruz
Newell’s v San Lorenzo
Huracán v Olimpo
Vélez v Argentinos
Unión v Crucero del Norte
Belgrano v Arsenal
San Martín v Atlético de Rafaela
Aldosivi v Banfield
Independiente v Boca Reserves
River Reserves v Racing Reserves
Defensa y Justicia v Colón
Sarmiento v Gimnasia

Episode 182: Previewing three superclásicos and catching up on other bits and pieces

30 Apr

In the hundred and eight-first episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Andrés and Joel are joined by new boy – and Boca Juniors fan – Julian in an exciting week in Buenos Aires, as we gear up to watch three clashes between River Plate and Boca Juniors in just eleven days; two in the Copa Libertadores last 16, and first of all one in the league this Sunday. We discuss how both sides have come to be sitting joint first after ten matches, how recent superclásicos have gone and what we expect in the upcoming clashes – as well as why the choice of referees, especially for Sunday’s encounter, has caused such a big fuss. Prior to that, we have a round-up of the other recent action in Argentina, including a Copa Argentina catch-up and a look at the other sides in the Copa Libertadores knockout stages, because apparently there are some. 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 eleventh round predictions (round ten: 6/15)
Godoy Cruz v Sarmiento
Olimpo v Estudiantes
Argentinos v Aldosivi
Gimnasia v Newell’s
San Lorenzo v Vélez
Racing v Lanús
Central v Huracán
Atlético de Rafaela v Defensa y Justicia
Banfield v Independiente
Tigre v Chicago
Boca v River
Unión v Belgrano
Arsenal v Quilmes
Crucero v Colón
Temperley v San Martín

Episode 181: River and Boca are joint top, the problem with Independiente & more

24 Apr

In the hundred and eighty-first episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, English Dan, Andrés and Peter look back on a weekend of action that left River Plate and Boca Juniors joint top of the table as they prepare to head into their clash at La Bombonera on the 3rd May (there are no matches this weekend). The two will also clash twice after that in the last 16 of the Copa Libertadores, but we’ll do a full preview of those matches next week; this time round we look at Racing and Independiente, who both drew their matches 0-0 last weekend, and consider some of the league’s less heralded heroes so far. This week’s history bit has Dan telling us about the time Alfredo Di Stéfano was kidnapped by a Venezuelan group of political protesters. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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There’s no Mystic Sam this week, but as a team we’re predicting a River win over Huracán in Saturday’s Supercopa Argentina, and for Aldosivi to turn their 1-0 advantage with an hour to play into a win away to Arsenal when that match is finished (which is what Sam originally predicted for that game anyway), also on Saturday.

Episode 180: Four joint-leaders, River up against it and a trip to Temperley

16 Apr

The hundred and eightieth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés joined by new boy Remi, who brings a continental European air of sophistication (and a typically Dutch manner of speaking against received wisdom) to the podcast. We discuss the results over the weekend which led to Boca Juniors, River Plate, San Lorenzo and Rosario Central to all be tied on 21 points at the top, look at an emotional clásico del Sur in which Lanús beat Banfield 2-1, and explain how River Plate were up against it in the Copa Libertadores as we recorded (we returned afterwards to let you know how that turned out). Remi also tells us about his visit to Temperley on Friday, where he watched the hosts beat Colón 2-1. This week’s history section is a tribute to Uruguayan journalist, historian and football writer Eduardo Galeano, who died on Monday. 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 tenth round predictions (last week: 5/15)
Estudiantes v Central
Sarmiento v Arsenal
Huracan v Tigre
DyJ v Temperley
Independiente v Argentinos
Vélez v Gimnasia
Belgrano v Crucero del Norte
Chicago v Racing
Aldosivi v San Lorenzo
River v Banfield
San Martín v Olimpo
Lanús v Boca
Quilmes v Unión
Colón v Atlético de Rafaela
Newell’s v Godoy Cruz

Episode 179: Video refereeing controversy, Boca go top and Banfield join the race

9 Apr

The hundred and seventy-ninth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés discuss referee Germán Delfino’s decision to rescind a penalty and red card seemingly on television evidence during Vélez Sarsfield’s 2-1 win over Arsenal de Sarandí on Saturday – what happened, and how have the Argentine media tried in places to twist the story? Other topics on this episode are River Plate’s weekend clásico win, 1-0 over San Lorenzo, and Boca Juniors’ 2-0 victory away to Huracán which took Boca top of the nascent league table. We also find time for a six-goal thriller between Defensa y Justicia and Rosario Central, the end of Unión de Santa Fe’s unbeaten record, and much more besides. This week’s history section is devoted to Omar Sívori, the great former River and Juventus striker who made his debut 61 years ago last Saturday. 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 ninth round predictions (last week: 8/15)
Crucero del Norte v Atlético de Rafaela
Temperley v Colón
Gimnasia v Aldosivi
Godoy Cruz v Vélez
San Lorenzo v Independiente
Racing v Huracán
Central v San Martín
Banfield v Lanús
Boca v Chicago
Olimpo v Defensa y Justicia
Argentinos v River
Unión v Sarmiento
Arsenal v Newell’s
Belgrano v Quilmes
Tigre v Estudiantes

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