Episode 266: Boca still lead the way, Banfield impress and an all-Argentine Libertadores semi

The two hundred and sixty-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés look back on a weekend during which River Plate dropped league points for the first time this season to leave Boca Juniors as the only team with a 100% record after four matches. There were impressive wins for Banfield and Colón, who aren’t far behind the top two, and we look at a poor week for Estudiantes and San Lorenzo, who played one another on Monday evening. There’s also a brief look forward to an all-Argentine Copa Libertadores semi-final, after River’s thrashing last Thursday of Jorge Wilstermann in their quarter-final second leg, and Lanús’ penalty shootout win over San Lorenzo.

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Last week, Mystic Sam beat Mystic Liam 5-3 in the prediction battle. This week, Mystic Chris is the challenger.

Chris
Defensa y Justicia v Huracán
Unión v Olimpo
Atlético Tucumán v Belgrano
San Lorenzo v Colón
Temperley v Estudiantes
Gimnasia v Lanús
Argentinos v Racing
Talleres v Patronato
San Martín v Central
Independiente v Vélez
Boca v Chacarita
Tigre v River
Banfield v Arsenal
Newell’s v Godoy Cruz

Sam
Defensa y Justicia v Huracán
Unión v Olimpo
Atlético Tucumán v Belgrano
San Lorenzo v Colón
Temperley v Estudiantes
Gimnasia v Lanús
Argentinos v Racing
Talleres v Patronato
San Martín v Central
Independiente v Vélez
Boca v Chacarita
Tigre v River
Banfield v Arsenal
Newell’s v Godoy Cruz

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Episode 265: River and Boca set the early pace, and national team news

The two hundred and sixty-fifth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés discuss a weekend of league action in which River Plate and champions Boca Juniors continue to be the two teams to beat in the Superliga, even as River slumped last week to first leg defeat in the Copa Libertadores away to Jorge Wilstermann of Bolivia. There’s also talk of Jorge Sampaoli’s latest national team list (call-ups have gone out to players based abroad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Ecuador), and a change of venue for the Peru match to La Bombonera. As well as all this, Independiente’s Alexis Zárate (currently on loan at Temperley, perhaps not for much longer) has been found guilty of rape, and there’s some discussion of that verdict and the media reaction in Argentina.

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Twitter didn’t show the first two matches of Liam’s screenshot predictions (from which Sam was reading the fixtures for the Mystical section), so the first two games in the lists below didn’t get read out, but here for the record are all the predictions for this weekend:

Mystic Sam’s fourth round predictions (last week he got 7/14)
Belgrano v Tigre
Patronato v Atl. Tucumán
Huracán v Unión
Arsenal v Temperley
Chacarita v Talleres
Vélez v Boca
Godoy Cruz v Independiente
Colón v Defensa y Justicia
Olimpo v Gimnasia
Central v Banfield
River v Argentinos
Racing v San Martín
Lanús v Newell’s
Estudiantes v San Lorenzo

Mystic Liam’s predictions
Belgrano v Tigre
Patronato v Atl. Tucumán
Huracán v Unión
Arsenal v Temperley
Chacarita v Talleres
Vélez v Boca
Godoy Cruz v Independiente
Colón v Defensa y Justicia
Olimpo v Gimnasia
Central v Banfield
River v Argentinos
Racing v San Martín
Lanús v Newell’s
Estudiantes v San Lorenzo

Episode 264: Wrapping up the second weekend, and more national team talk

In the two hundred and sixty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, English Dan and Andrés are joined by Julián for his second appearance, around two and a half years after his first. We look back on a second weekend of Superliga action which saw wins for River and Boca, a 4-1 tonking of Temperley by Racing, and – shock, horror – a goalless draw between Rosario Central and San Lorenzo. Last week’s national team talk has sparked something of a discussion among our Twitter followers, so we address that in the second half, along with a look at why the national team are moving to La Bombonera for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Peru.

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Mystic Sam’s third round predictions (last week he got 3/14)
Tigre v Patronato
Colón v Estudiantes
Argentinos v Belgrano
Defensa y Justicia v Unión
Newell’s v Olimpo
San Lorenzo v Arsenal
Independiente v Lanús
Talleres v Vélez
Atl. Tucumán v Chacarita
Banfield v Racing
Boca v Godoy Cruz
San Martín v River
Gimnasia v Huracán
Temperley v Central

Episode 263: The new season’s started! Someone tell the national team

Hand Of Pod returns from an extended winter break, and in episode 263 Sam is joined by English Dan and Andrés to run the rule over Argentina’s latest two disappointing World Cup qualifying performances. What went wrong against Uruguay and Venezuela? Is the problem solely tactical or are there, in fact, not really any of the right options even available for selection in the midfield? These are just two of the question we ask. In the second half, we take a very brief look at how the Superliga season began two weeks ago, in an opening round Sam didn’t see and which Andrés and Dan have mostly forgotten. Don’t worry, we’ll be back up to full speed next week.

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Mystic Sam’s second round predictions
Arsenal v Colón
Vélez v Atl. Tucumán
Olimpo v Independiente
Belgrano v San Martín
Estudiantes v Defensa y Justicia
Patronato v Argentinos Juniors
Racing v Temperley
Chacarita Juniors v Tigre
Godoy Cruz v Talleres
Rosario Central v San Lorenzo
River Plate v Banfield
Lanús v Boca Juniors
Unión v Gimnasia
Huracán v Newell’s Old Boys