Episode 127: Racing’s upturn in form, River & Boca have problems, and who’s going to win the title?

In the hundred-and-twenty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Andrés and guest Ilan are invited round to English Dan’s swish new pad. We discuss the fallout of last weekend’s clásico, which saw Racing beat River Plate 1-0, and look at how and why the title frontrunners dropped points yet again (to be fair to them, in four cases it’s because they were playing each other). We also bring the latest from the situation in Santa Fe, where Colón are in danger of being de-affiliated from the AFA, ask whether Ramón Díaz and Carlos Bianchi are really the best managers for River and Boca Juniors, and basically teach ourselves during the recording who All Boys’ new manager Ricardo Rodríguez – who started with a 2-0 win in La Bombonera – is. Oh, and there’s news of the first Swiss person ever to score a competitive goal in the Argentine league. Since this episode was recorded, Lanús have advanced to the final of the Copa Sudamericana, where they’ll play Ponte Preta.

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

Episode 126: Colón in crisis, another weekend of shocks, and a six-way title race

In the hundred-and-twenty-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Andrés and Santi are joined by Rob Brown, an Englishman who’s in Buenos Aires for a few months almost entirely in order to watch Juan Román Riquelme play. We discuss another weekend of surprising results and exciting matches – not least a five goal thriller in Sarandí, where Santi and Rob watched Arsenal beat Boca Juniors 3-2 – and look at crisis club Colón, whose players refused to turn up for their match against Atlético de Rafaela on Monday. Some of Colón’s players are owed wages going back as far as a year, and the affair has cost club president (and Julio Grondona associate) Germán Lerche his position; he resigned after the fracas on Monday. We also ask how much worse River Plate can get, before considering a thrilling six-way title run-in (San Lorenzo, Newell’s Old Boys, Arsenal, Boca Juniors, Lanús and even Rafaela all have a decent shot at the trophy) and looking back on Argentina’s international friendlies in the USA, among other topics.

As usual, Mystic Sam’s predictions are just below. Click here if you’d like to subscribe to us on iTunes.

Mystic Sam’s seventeenth round predictions:
Vélez v Godoy Cruz
Argentinos v Quilmes
Olimpo v Central
Rafaela v San Lorenzo
Lanús v Gimnasia
Newell’s v Arsenal
Boca v All Boys
Racing v River
Belgrano v Tigre
Estudiantes v Colón (if it goes ahead)

Episode 125: We are 3; Lanús on the title charge, and Racing are rubbish again

The 125th episode of Hand Of Pod was recorded on our third birthday, and Andrés and Sam raise a glass to that fact before getting stuck in to last weekend’s action, which saw Boca Juniors make up some ground on the top two, Newell’s Old Boys and San Lorenzo, after they’d drawn against each other. The biggest winners of the last few weeks, though, have been Copa Sudamericana semi-finalists Lanús, who might just have a tilt at the title. We check out the run-ins that each of the top five have with four matches of the season remaining, and ask whether Atlético de Rafaela could possibly be candidates as well (answer: no). There’s another chance to moan about how crap River Plate are, and a celebration of the fact that Vélez Sarsfield’s elimination from the Copa Sudamericana last week means South American football’s not bent after all. What better birthday present could we ask for?

We’d like to thank everyone who’s supported us and listened to us over the last three years – it’s hugely appreciated. As ever, Mystic Sam’s predictions for the sixteenth round are below. If you’d like to subscribe to HOP on iTunes, you can click here.

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

Episode 124: Racing aren’t crap any more, River very much are, and more

The hundred-and-twenty-forth episode of Hand Of Pod is one of our shortest ever episodes, but hopefully we’ve still got enough to be going on with. Racing, having won twice in a row, are officially no longer rubbish, and English Dan celebrates by returning to the pod. He and Sam run the rule over Racing’s sudden improvement, and contrast it with River Plate’s absolutely awful form, which plumbed new depths on Wednesday night as they lost 3-1 at home to Lanús to go out of the Copa Sudamericana. We ask why David Trezeguet didn’t start for Newell’s Old Boys last weekend – he came off the bench to score twice, helping them claim a 2-2 draw away to Colón – and look forward to this weekend’s big top of the table clash between Newell’s and San Lorenzo. All this and much more.

Next week, Hand Of Pod turns three years old, so please share this episode with your friends and join us next week for the celebration!

You’ll find Mystic Sam’s predictions just below, and don’t forget you can subscribe to us on iTunes.

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

Episode 123: Maradona’s birthday, Giunta’s balls, and a lot of very angry people

The hundred-and-twenty-third episode of Hand Of Pod was recorded on Diego Maradona’s 53rd birthday, and after giving that fact the amount of coverage it deserves, we move on to a review of the last two rounds of Torneo Inicial action. Central shocked Newell’s in the clásico rosarino, River Plate still can’t score and Manu Gigliotti’s in fine form for Boca Juniors. Oh, and RACING HAVE WON A MATCH! Former Arsenal (de Woolwich) player, and now former Quilmes manager, Nelson Vivas clocked a fan and has been replaced by big-balled ‘Argentine Ferguson’ Blas Giunta, and a lot of other people have been getting very aggressive indeed in Argentine stadia. For once, it’s mostly players, not barras. There’s also time to consider whether River Plate goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero really deserves an Argentina call-up, and the amount of attention Mauricio Pochettino’s English managerial exploits are getting in Argentina (short answer: zero).

As ever, you’ll find Mystic Sam’s predictions for the coming weekend just below, and as ever, don’t forget you can subscribe to us on iTunes if you’re one of the 7.something billion people who haven’t yet done so.

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