Episode 223: A very dull round of derbies, Copa Libertadores knockout rounds begin & more

28 Apr

The two hundred and twenty-third episode of Hand Of Pod was recorded by Sam and Andrés in a rather cold living room, because it’s chilly in Buenos Aires at present and no gas in Sam’s building means no central heating in Sam’s building. The dedication we show to this podcast… anyway, we discuss a weekend of clásico action in which not very much happened, apart from one or two appalling fouls and some decent goals (but not many of them at all). Other topics covered are the AFA’s need for new TV rights and national team kit deals (they need money from anyone who’ll give it to them, so if you’ve ever wanted to sponsor a major international football team…), and the chances Argentine clubs have in the Copa Libertadores.

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Mystic La Liga Gav’s predictions for round 13 (last week Mystic Phil got 6/15)
Aldosivi
v Unión
Estudiantes v Newell’s
Colón v Olimpo
Patronato v Atlético de Rafaela
Independiente v San Lorenzo
Belgrano v Quilmes
River v Vélez
Godoy Cruz v Arsenal
Huracán v Racing
Defensa y Justicia v San Martín
Argentinos v Boca
Central v Gimnasia
Tigre v Lanús
Temperley v Atlético Tucumán
Banfield v Sarmiento

Episode 222: Copa Libertadores group stage round-up and much more

22 Apr

The two hundred and twenty-second episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Andrés discuss the Copa Libertadores group stage, which has finished (or had almost finished, when we recorded) with five of Argentina’s six clubs qualifying for the last sixteen – San Lorenzo are the odd one out. Boca Juniors’ transformation under Guillermo Barros Schelotto continues apace; they’ve now scored ten goals in their last two matches, which isn’t great news for their next opponents. Those next opponents are River Plate, of course, because this weekend is clásico weekend across the league, and Phil Carney is our Mystic Guest Predictor. All this and much more…

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Mystic Phil’s twelfth round predictions (last week Mystic Jose got 4/15; matches in red are clásicos)
Atlético de Rafaela v Patronato
Vélez v Argentinos
Olimpo v Aldosivi
Unión v Colón
Arsenal v Defensa y Justicia
San Lorenzo v Huracán
Godoy Cruz v San Martín
Lanús v Banfield
Gimnasia v Estudiantes
Newell’s v Central
Boca v River
Racing v Independiente
Belgrano v Atlético Tucumán
Tigre v Sarmiento
Quilmes v Temperley

Episode 221: Racing’s inconsistencies, River’s ongoing problems and some Libertadores mathematics

15 Apr

The two hundred and twenty-first episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by Andrés and English Dan to look back on another goal-packed weekend of Primera action which saw Vélez Sarsfield hand Rosario Central their first home defeat in nearly a year and a half, Lanús get a well-deserved win over Banfield in the clásico, and Huracán claim victory by the odd goal in seven over San Martín. Racing are having consistency problems, and travel to La Paz next week in need of a result against Bolívar (a one-goal defeat or better) to qualify for the Copa Libertadores knockout stage. English Dan is bullish about their chances. River Plate also continue to have issues, but in spite of a 2-1 defeat away to São Paulo on Tuesday will still almost definitely be in the last sixteen, whilst Boca are already there, Central sealed their place just after we recorded, and San Lorenzo are out.

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

Episode 220: River and Boca’s troubles, yet more goals, and surprise packages

7 Apr

In the two hundred and twentieth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Andrés, Fede and Remi discuss a weekend during which Rosario Central dropped points and River Plate lost, but Boca Juniors managed a marked improvement in a 3-0 win over Atlético de Rafaela and San Lorenzo came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at home to Belgrano. Boca’s injury woes and River’s lack of proper reinforcements over the summer break are topics of conversation, as well as Lanús’ and Godoy Cruz’s continuing fine form.

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Mystic Mister Numbers’ round 10 predictions (last week Mystic Chris got 9/15)
Colón v Patronato
Godoy Cruz v San Lorenzo
Huracán v San Martín
Central v Vélez
Defensa y Justicia v Temperley
River v Sarmiento
Independiente v Olimpo
Banfield v Lanús
Aldosivi v Racing
Argentinos v Newell’s
Belgrano v Gimnasia
Tigre v Boca
Quilmes v Arsenal
Atl Rafaela v Unión
Estudiantes v Atl Tucumán

Episode 219: two wins get Argentina’s World Cup hopes on track, Messi’s brilliance and more

31 Mar

The two hundred and nineteenth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by Andrés and Fran to look back on Argentina’s two recent World Cup qualifying victories, away to Chile and at home to Bolivia. The character shown by the team, the attacking play in both first halves and of course the six points were some of the positives (as was Lionel Messi’s brilliance in both matches), but the displays weren’t perfect by any means, and we run the rule over what could have been better. Listeners’ questions range from new Argentina goalscoring hero Gabriel Mercado to Daniel Osvaldo’s fitness and whether it’s acceptable for a foreigner to support Arsenal de Sarandí (the answer to that last one is ‘no’).

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Mystic Chris Murtagh’s ninth round predictions (last time out Mystic Tom Robinson got 10/15!)
Atlético Tucumán vs Huracán
Olimpo vs Central
Temperley vs Estudiantes
Racing vs Tigre
Boca vs Atlético de Rafaela
Patronato vs River
Banfield vs Colón
Newell’s vs Aldosivi
San Martín vs Argentinos
San Lorenzo vs Belgrano
Vélez vs Godoy Cruz
Defensa y Justicia vs Arsenal
Sarmiento vs Indepediente
Gimnasia vs Quilmes
Unión vs Lanus

Episode 218: Another goal-packed weekend, and Argentina’s new WCQ challenges

24 Mar

In the two hundred and eighteenth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Peter and Andrés have a bumper discussion beginning with the number of goals in the latest round of Primera action (52 in 15 matches) and travelling through the Big Five’s iffy form and Ricardo Caruso Lombardi’s latest streetfight to arrive at a preview of Argentina’s two upcoming World Cup qualifiers, away to Chile on Thursday night and at home to Bolivia on Tuesday. Can the team keep up their good showing as Lionel Messi returns, or will the talisman’s arrival mean the others revert to expecting him to do all the attacking work for them? All will be revealed…

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There’s no Mystic bit as such this week, but the panel universally agreed that Argentina will beat Chile by a single goal on Thursday night, and beat Bolivia by three on Tuesday. Last week, Mystic Tom got an astonishing 10/15.

Episode 217: Boca get their first win under GBS, an up-and-down week for River, and more

18 Mar

Episode 217 of Hand Of Pod sees Sam welcome Andrés and English Dan to the studio to go over the last week in Argentine football with a fine-toothed comb. It’s been a distinctly mixed seven days (and three matches) for River Plate, who were thrashed in the league but might have regained some confidence in the Libertadores on Wednesday night, and a good week for Boca Juniors, who claimed their first win of the Guillermo Barros Schelotto era on Monday. Estudiantes totally outplayed Gimnasia in the La Plata clásico on Sunday, and one of the consequences was the sacking of Gimnasia boss Pedro Troglio – though it might not have been a solely footballing decision. Lanús’ and Rosario Central’s unbeaten starts to the season have come undone, and there are some surprising competitors for the championship final positions, especially in Group 2.

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Mystic Tom’s predictions for round 8 (last week Mystic Harry got 2/14):
Arsenal v Gimnasia
Aldosivi v San Martín
Estudiantes v Defensa y Justicia
Belgrano v Vélez
Colón v Unión
Godoy Cruz v Olimpo
Argentinos v Atlético Tucumán
Independiente v Patronato
Quilmes v San Lorenzo
River v Banfield
Huracán v Temperley
Lanús v Boca
Rosario Central v Sarmiento
Atlético de Rafaela v Racing
Tigre v Newell’s

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