Episode 191: River Plate reach the Copa Libertadores final, Boca stay top of the league and more

The hundred and ninety-first episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés in a good mood after River Plate’s qualification for the final of the Copa Libertadores for the first time in 19 years. A 1-1 draw with Guaraní in Asunción, with Marcelo Gallardo signings Tabaré Viudez and Lucas Alario combining for the crucial goal, proved decisive and next week River will face Tigres of Mexico in the first leg (we didn’t know this when we recorded). As well as River in the Copa, there’s also a full weekend of Argentine league action to look back on, including River reserves’ 5-1 tonking of Atlético de Rafaela, and wins for San Lorenzo and Boca Juniors (on Carlos Tevez’s return to La Bombonera) which mean it’s still Boca-San Lorenzo-River in a 1-2-3 at the top of the league table. Andrés also has a preview of this weekend’s biggest league match, the clásico rosarino between Newell’s Old Boys and Rosario Central. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Mystic Sam’s eighteenth round predictions (last week: 7/15)
Aldosivi v Temperley
Gimnasia v Crucero del Norte
Sarmiento v Tigre
Unión v Banfield
Independiente v Atlético de Rafaela
Vélez v Olimpo
Huracán v Estudiantes
Newell’s v Central
Quilmes v Racing
Godoy Cruz v San Lorenzo
River reserves v Colón
Lanús v Defensa y Justicia
Belgrano v Boca
Chicago v San Martín
Arsenal v Argentinos

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