Episode 170: ¡Racing campeón! and a report from Morocco on San Lorenzo’s Club World Cup semi-final

The hundred and seventieth episode of Hand Of Pod is our last of 2014, and we leave on an unexpected note: Racing Club managed not to racinguear on Sunday, and are the new champions of Argentina. Sam and Andrés, River Plate fans, are for once outnumbered by Racing fans; English Dan, Ilan and the prodigal son of Hand Of Pod, Seba García. We discuss Racing’s fine end-of-championship form to lift the trophy, and where the side go from here. We also have a special appearance from Marrakesh by San Lorenzo fan Mariano, who’s travelled to watch his team at the Club World Cup; what did he make of the semi-final extra time win over Auckland City, and what does he expect for Saturday’s final against Real Madrid? You’ll have to listen to find out. The 2015 Primera fixture list has already been released, too, and we discuss that and look back on a memorable 2014 for Argentine football, which has seen Argentine clubs win both South American club cups, a highly entertaining championship all round during the second half of the year, and the small matter of the national side reaching the World Cup final. Good luck to San Lorenzo on Saturday, and may 2015 be every bit as memorable. Merry Christmas (or happy celebration of your choice) to our listeners, and we’ll be back in the new year!

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Episode 169: River win the Copa Sudamericana, and Racing hope to take the league on Sunday

The hundred and sixty-ninth episode of Hand Of Pod is going online rather late this week, mostly because Sam’s computer was out of order for a while, delaying the editing process. In it, Sam and Andrés discuss River Plate’s long-awaited return to international glory, after they claimed their first international trophy in seventeen years by winning the Copa Sudamericana (the continent’s second most important competition) on Wednesday night. What should River aim at next year, and would this highly successful 2014 have been possible had the club not been relegated in 2011, among other considerations? We then move our focus to preview Sunday’s two league title deciders, as leaders Racing host Godoy Cruz and second-placed River (them again) visit Quilmes. Is there any chance at all that Racing will do a Racing and cock it up? Could River complete an unlikely double? Sunday’s matches both kick off at 8:30pm Argentine time (11:30pm Greenwich Mean Time), and we’ll be back late next week to fill you in on what happens.

As ever, Mystic Sam’s previews for this weekend’s matches are below. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s final weekend predictions
Racing v Godoy Cruz
Quilmes v River

Episode 168: A decent week for River Plate, Racing close in on the title and more

The hundred and sixty-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Andrés and Peter recording in Sam’s new living room, with the traffic noise of Avenida Santa Fe drifting in through the (closed) windows. There’s plenty to discuss, because it’s been a week since River Plate saw off Boca Juniors 1-0 in an epic Copa Sudamericana semi-final clash, and just a day (at the time of recording) since they secured a 1-1 draw in Medellín against Atlético Nacional to give themselves a decent chance in their home leg of the final, next Wednesday. We also look back on the three most important games of last weekend, which saw Lanús drop out of the title race as Racing stayed top with a 3-0 win away to Rosario Central, and River clung to their coat-tails to take the title race to a postponed last weekend with a thrilling 3-2 win over Banfield, which included Fernando Cavenaghi’s 100th and 101st goals for the club. All this, and much more…

As ever, Mystic Sam’s previews for this weekend’s matches are below. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s nineteenth round predictions
Estudiantes v Tigre
Vélez v San Lorenzo
Atlético de Rafaela v Arsenal
Olimpo v Defensa y Justicia
Banfield v Central
Belgrano v Independiente
Boca v Gimnasia
Newell’s v Lanús