Archive | March, 2016

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

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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

Episode 216: Reviewing the superclásico and an awful lot of goals elsewhere

10 Mar

The two hundred and sixteenth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Andrés and Fede look back on a rather underwhelming superclásico which nonetheless gave us plenty to talk about – largely because we’ve now seen Guillermo Barros Schelotto in charge of Boca Juniors for a week (they play away to Bolívar in the altitude of La Paz in the Copa Libertadores tonight). If River v Boca was one of the lowlights of the weekend, though, there was plenty of entertainment elsewhere: previously winless Tigre hitting five past hitherto impressive Atlético Tucumán; nine goals in a crazy match in Santa Fe between Unión and Racing; Defensa y Justicia winning 5-1 away to Argentinos Juniors and many more goals besides. All this and more in just an hour and a quarter. Enjoy!

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Mystic Harry’s seventh round predictions (last week Mystic Chris got 5/15)
Racing v Lanús
Newell’s v Atlético de Rafaela
Olimpo v Belgrano
DyJ v Huracán
Banfield v Independiente
San Martín v Tigre
San Lorenzo v Arsenal
Temperley v Argentinos
Patronato v Central
Estudiantes v Gimnasia
Atlético Tucumán v Aldosivi
Colón v River
Sarmiento v Godoy Cruz
Boca v Unión
Vélez v Quilmes

Episode 215: Boca Juniors change managers ahead of superclásico and more

3 Mar

The two hundred and fifteenth episode of Hand Of Pod is a bumper one, as we’ve got a major talking point this week. Sam, Andrés and Boca Juniors fans Fede and Fran discuss Boca’s decision on Monday to sack Rodolfo Arruabarrena and replace him on Tuesday with Guillermo Barros Schelotto as manager. Is this the change in direction the club needs? Can the new manager handle Carlos Tevez’s influence on team affairs without upsetting anyone? And most importantly, with a Copa Libertadores game against Racing tonight (Thursday) and a visit to River Plate on Sunday, how quick an impact can GBS have? Aside from Boca, we also look back on a weekend which saw yet another great performance from Rosario Central, a second consecutive clean sheet for River and more impressive stuff from Atlético Tucumán.

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Mystic Chris Hartley’s predictions (last week Mystic Roberto got 5/15)
Belgrano v Sarmiento
Arsenal v Vélez
Gimnasia v San Lorenzo
Independiente v Colón
Godoy Cruz v Patronato
Quilmes v Olimpo
Central v Banfield
Argentinos v Defensa y Justica
Tigre v Atlético Tucuman
Unión v Racing
Lanús v Newell’s Old Boys
Aldosivi v Temperley
Atlético de Rafaela v San Martín
Huracán v Estudiantes
River v Boca