Episode 265: River and Boca set the early pace, and national team news

21 Sep

The two hundred and sixty-fifth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés discuss a weekend of league action in which River Plate and champions Boca Juniors continue to be the two teams to beat in the Superliga, even as River slumped last week to first leg defeat in the Copa Libertadores away to Jorge Wilstermann of Bolivia. There’s also talk of Jorge Sampaoli’s latest national team list (call-ups have gone out to players based abroad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Ecuador), and a change of venue for the Peru match to La Bombonera. As well as all this, Independiente’s Alexis Zárate (currently on loan at Temperley, perhaps not for much longer) has been found guilty of rape, and there’s some discussion of that verdict and the media reaction in Argentina.

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Twitter didn’t show the first two matches of Liam’s screenshot predictions (from which Sam was reading the fixtures for the Mystical section), so the first two games in the lists below didn’t get read out, but here for the record are all the predictions for this weekend:

Mystic Sam’s fourth round predictions (last week he got 7/14)
Belgrano v Tigre
Patronato v Atl. Tucumán
Huracán v Unión
Arsenal v Temperley
Chacarita v Talleres
Vélez v Boca
Godoy Cruz v Independiente
Colón v Defensa y Justicia
Olimpo v Gimnasia
Central v Banfield
River v Argentinos
Racing v San Martín
Lanús v Newell’s
Estudiantes v San Lorenzo

Mystic Liam’s predictions
Belgrano v Tigre
Patronato v Atl. Tucumán
Huracán v Unión
Arsenal v Temperley
Chacarita v Talleres
Vélez v Boca
Godoy Cruz v Independiente
Colón v Defensa y Justicia
Olimpo v Gimnasia
Central v Banfield
River v Argentinos
Racing v San Martín
Lanús v Newell’s
Estudiantes v San Lorenzo

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Episode 264: Wrapping up the second weekend, and more national team talk

14 Sep

In the two hundred and sixty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, English Dan and Andrés are joined by Julián for his second appearance, around two and a half years after his first. We look back on a second weekend of Superliga action which saw wins for River and Boca, a 4-1 tonking of Temperley by Racing, and – shock, horror – a goalless draw between Rosario Central and San Lorenzo. Last week’s national team talk has sparked something of a discussion among our Twitter followers, so we address that in the second half, along with a look at why the national team are moving to La Bombonera for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Peru.

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Mystic Sam’s third round predictions (last week he got 3/14)
Tigre v Patronato
Colón v Estudiantes
Argentinos v Belgrano
Defensa y Justicia v Unión
Newell’s v Olimpo
San Lorenzo v Arsenal
Independiente v Lanús
Talleres v Vélez
Atl. Tucumán v Chacarita
Banfield v Racing
Boca v Godoy Cruz
San Martín v River
Gimnasia v Huracán
Temperley v Central

Episode 263: The new season’s started! Someone tell the national team

8 Sep

Hand Of Pod returns from an extended winter break, and in episode 263 Sam is joined by English Dan and Andrés to run the rule over Argentina’s latest two disappointing World Cup qualifying performances. What went wrong against Uruguay and Venezuela? Is the problem solely tactical or are there, in fact, not really any of the right options even available for selection in the midfield? These are just two of the question we ask. In the second half, we take a very brief look at how the Superliga season began two weeks ago, in an opening round Sam didn’t see and which Andrés and Dan have mostly forgotten. Don’t worry, we’ll be back up to full speed next week.

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Mystic Sam’s second round predictions
Arsenal v Colón
Vélez v Atl. Tucumán
Olimpo v Independiente
Belgrano v San Martín
Estudiantes v Defensa y Justicia
Patronato v Argentinos Juniors
Racing v Temperley
Chacarita Juniors v Tigre
Godoy Cruz v Talleres
Rosario Central v San Lorenzo
River Plate v Banfield
Lanús v Boca Juniors
Unión v Gimnasia
Huracán v Newell’s Old Boys

Episode 262: Reviewing Boca’s title win, and some end of season tidying-up

29 Jun

The two hundred and sixty-second episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés bid farewell to a memorable 2016-17 season which ended with Boca Juniors crowned champions of Argentina for the thirty-second time, and with Sarmiento, Atlético de Rafaela, Quilmes and Aldosivi being relegated. Sam takes you through the ins and outs of Copa Libertadores and Sudamericana qualification (still pending, because the Copa Argentina final isn’t until the end of the year), and we discuss what made Boca worthy champions, what some of the other clubs will be thinking of their seasons, and our players of the season, including Sam’s Domestic Argentina Squad, which you’ll find on the HOP blogpost accompanying this episode. This is our last episode for a couple of months – we’ll be back when Sam returns from his holidays, probably at the start of September.

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Sam’s domestic Argentina squad of the season

Goalkeepers: Esteban Andrada (Lanús); Jorge Broun (Colón); Gabriel Arias (Defensa y Justicia); Alexis Arias (Gimnasia)

Defenders: Leonel Di Plácido (Atl. Tucumán); José Luis Gómez (Lanús); Alexander Barboza (Defensa y Justicia); Guillermo Ortíz (Colón); Jonatan Maidana (River Plate); Jonathan Silva (Boca Juniors); Nicolás Tagliafico (Independiente)

Midfielders: Iván Marcone (Lanús); Marcos Acuña (Racing); Gonzalo Martínez (River); Fernando Gago (Boca); Ignacio Fernández (River); Facundo Quignón (Newell’s Old Boys); Emanuel Reynoso (Talleres); Emiliano Rigoni (Independiente); Ricardo Centurión (Boca)

Forwards: Cristian Pavón (Boca); Darío Benedetto (Boca); Sebastián Driussi (River); Lucas Alario (River); Gustavo Bou (Racing)

Episode 261: Reviewing Sampaoli’s start for Argentina, and gearing up for the title run-in

16 Jun

In the two hundred and sixty-first episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam and Andrés look back on Jorge Sampaoli’s first two matches as Argentina manager, which ended in two victories, seven goals scored and none conceded – although one was a lot closer as a contest than the other. We also cast our eyes forwards towards his competitive debut at the end of August, where they’ll be no margin for error. As well as this, we’ve a title run-in to consider, with this weekend’s matches followed almost immediately by a round in midweek; by the time we next record, Boca Juniors could very well be champions.

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In round 27, Mystic Sam got 3/15. This week, Mystic Chris takes him on …
Mystic Sam
Colón v San Lorenzo
San Martín v Temperley
Huracán v Unión
Talleres v Gimnasia
Banfield v Central
Arsenal v Godoy Cruz
Estudiantes v Belgrano
Atl. Rafaela v Quilmes
Aldosivi v Boca
Vélez v Sarmiento
Newell’s v Lanús
Patronato v Tigre
Independiente v Olimpo
DyJ v Atl. Tucumán
River v Racing

Mystic Chris
Colón v San Lorenzo
San Martín v Temperley
Huracán v Unión
Talleres v Gimnasia
Banfield v Central
Arsenal v Godoy Cruz
Estudiantes v Belgrano
Atl. Rafaela v Quilmes
Aldosivi v Boca
Vélez v Sarmiento
Newell’s v Lanús
Patronato v Tigre
Independiente v Olimpo
DyJ v Atl. Tucumán
River v Racing

Episode 260: Previewing Argentina v Brazil, and Boca Juniors put one hand on the league trophy

8 Jun

The two hundred and sixtieth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés looking back over a weekend which saw River Plate lose ground in potentially decisive fashion to Boca Juniors, whose win over Independiente – combined with River’s defeat to San Lorenzo – sent them four points clear with just three matches remaining. It was also an interesting weekend for the relegation battle, and we look over the key results there. On Friday, Jorge Sampaoli’s reign as Argentina manager begins in earnest with a friendly in Australia against Brazil, and we also preview that.

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Episode 259: The top two falter, relegation edges closer for some, and more

31 May

The two hundred and fifty-ninth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Andrés discuss a fine clásico win for Racing against ten-man San Lorenzo and a victory for Talleres over a controversially under-strength Atlético Tucumán. The big stories, though, were dropped points for both Boca Juniors and River Plate, who drew away to Huracán and at home to Rosario Central respectively. Was Huracán’s late penalty controversial? (Erm, no.) Should River be kicking themselves? (Perhaps.) And are Arsenal de Sarandí and Sarmiento both going down? (Yes, surely.)

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Mystic Sam’s predictions (in last week’s head-to-head, Mystic Liam beat Mystic Chris, 6-3)
Sarmiento v Defensa y Justicia
Godoy Cruz v Atl. Rafaela
Tigre v Vélez Sarsfield
Central v Colón
Temperley v Talleres
Unión v Newell’s
Lanús v Estudiantes
Gimnasia v Banfield
San Lorenzo v River
Belgrano v Arsenal
Olimpo v Huracán
Atl. Tucumán v San Martín
Boca v Independiente
Quilmes v Patronato
Racing v Aldosivi