Episode 115: Big Five all lose for the first time ever & Argentinos are getting a nosebleed

It was an historic weekend in Argentina; for the first time ever, all of the Big Five – River Plate, Boca Juniors, Racing, Independiente and San Lorenzo – lost in the same round of matches. So inevitably, this week’s Hand Of Pod, which features Sam and English Dan, focusses on the grandes and their varying states of disarray, with both Avellaneda clubs having fired their managers (since our recording, Omar De Felippe has been confirmed as new Independiente boss). We also consider with incredulity the fact that Ricardo Caruso Lombardi’s Argentinos Juniors are still up near the top of the table, and have exclusive not-live coverage of the second half of Newell’s Old Boys v Gimnasia La Plata, which was being played as we were recording.

As usual, Mystic Sam’s predictions for the coming weekend are below. And don’t forget you can subscribe to HOP on iTunes by clicking here.

Mystic Sam’s fifth round predictions
Newell’s v Estudiantes
Tigre v Quilmes
All Boys v Racing
Gimnasia v Godoy Cruz
Colón v Central
Boca v Vélez
San Lorenzo v River
Arsenal v Argentinos
Belgrano v Rafaela
Lanús v Olimpo

Episode 114: Teo Gutiérrez’s never-ending transfer saga, Argentinos leading the way & more

We’re only three rounds into the season, but all the same it’s a little bizarre to be looking at a league table and seeing Argentinos Juniors on top of it. In the hundred and fourteenth episode of Hand Of Pod, Santiago sings the praises of their manager Ricardo Caruso Lombardi, Sam continues to get exasperated by River Plate’s eternal struggles to get Teo Gutiérrez registered to play, and Joel is the usual voice of calm reason. We also consider Boca Juniors’ and Estudiantes de La Plata’s improvement, why Rosario Central haven’t yet lived up to the promise of the opening weekend, and how much trouble Luis Zubeldía is in at Racing, as well as Gerardo Martino’s barely acceptable start as Barcelona manager. Listeners’ questions include whether Lionel Messi really needs to win a World Cup before he’ll be considered better than Diego Maradona.

As ever, Mystic Sam’s predictions are right below, and you can subscribe to us on iTunes if you haven’t already by clicking here.

Mystic Sam’s fourth round predictions
Belgrano v Gimnasia
Rafaela v Newell’s
Racing v Arsenal
Vélez v Lanús
Central v Godoy Cruz
Argentinos v Tigre
Olimpo v All Boys
River v Colón
Estudiantes v Boca
Quilmes v San Lorenzo

And in the remaining second round match (to be played on Tuesday)…
Newell’s v Gimnasia

Episode 113: reviewing the first two rounds of the season

Episode 113 of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Joel review the first two rounds of the 2013 Torneo Inicial, in which we’ve learned that River Plate still have a lot of improving to do, Boca Juniors’ defence might be as bad as it was during the first half of the year, and San Lorenzo could well be the team to beat this term. There have been mixed showings from Godoy Cruz and Rosario Central among others, and Mystic Sam has had an equally turbulent time; from 7/9 in the first round to 2/9 in the second. His predictions for round 3 – and for Boca Juniors v Newell’s Old Boys in the postponed first round match – are towards the end of the pod, as usual.

You’ll find a written record of Mystic Sam’s latest predictions below, as usual. Don’t forget you can follow Hand Of Pod on Twitter, and subscribe to us on iTunes.

Mystic Sam’s predictions
Newell’s v Boca

Arsenal v Olimpo
Colón v Quilmes
Gimnasia v Central
San Lorenzo v Argentinos
Newell’s v Belgrano
Tigre v Racing
Boca v Rafaela
Godoy Cruz v River
All Boys v Vélez
Lanús v Estudiantes

Episode 112: Previewing the 2013 Torneo Inicial

The hundred-and-twelfth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Santiago reviewing the couple of weeks of transfer activity that have followed episode 111, and previewing the 2013 Torneo Inicial. First, we answer the question on everyone’s lips: ‘What is a Gerardo Martino, and why has it been chosen to manage FC Barcelona?’ after which we get into the important stuff. You know – the domestic stuff. Who have been the winners and losers in terms of players out and in? Which club have decided to get around restrictions on non-Argentine players by, erm, completely ignoring said restrictions? Can Boca possibly do any worse than they did in the first six months of the year? And how have the AFA managed to make twats of themselves since you last heard from us? Step this way, and we’ll fill you in.

As ever, you’ll find Mystic Sam’s predictions below. If you’re an Apple fan/tolerator, you can click here to subscribe to us on iTunes, and if you  want to find out how Mystic Sam does (almost) as the weekend unfolds, you can follow us on Twitter. Please. We’ll love you forever.

Mystic Sam’s first round predictions
Godoy Cruz v Argentinos
Arsenal v Estudiantes
Tigre v Vélez
All Boys
v Rafaela
Colón v Racing
Lanús v Belgrano
Central v Quilmes
San Lorenzo v Olimpo
Gimnasia v River