Episode 202: Boca close in on the title and Argentina gear up for World Cup qualifying

The two hundred and second episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Andrés convene to discuss a weekend of football which saw Boca Juniors open up an imposing six point lead at the top of the table with just three matches remaining. Following San Lorenzo and Rosario Central’s 2-2 draw, Boca struggled a bit but still beat Crucero del Norte 1-0, as a result of which Crucero, to no-one’s surprise, are relegated. Still clinging on to their Primera status – for now – are Nueva Chicago, who grabbed a 2-1 win over Vélez Sarsfield. River Plate put in an awful performance and were well beaten, 3-0 by Independiente, and Quilmes’ good form continued. This weekend the Primera takes a break for the first double-header of CONMEBOL’s marathon World Cup qualifying campaign, which will see a Lionel Messi-less Argentina host Ecuador on Thursday and travel to Paraguay on Tuesday. 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 World Cup Qualifying predictions (last week in the league: 7/15)
Argentina 3-0 Ecuador
Paraguay 1-2 Argentina

Episode 198: San Lorenzo beat Boca to top spot, Argentina friendlies and a whole round of clásicos!

The hundred and ninety-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod features Sam, Andrés and Mariano discussing last weekend’s results, including San Lorenzo’s 1-0 win away to Boca Juniors which took them top of the league, and River Plate’s return to winning ways in a 4-1 tonking-which-wasn’t-really-a-tonking of Nueva Chicago. There are also two national team friendlies to discuss, and the main lesson everyone appears to have learned from Argentina’s 7-0 thrashing of Bolivia and their chaotic 2-2 draw with Mexico is that Matías Kranevitter is the real deal, and a lot of other stuff is still up in the air. As well as this, we have a whole round of clásicos to preview, as the AFA’s ridiculous league format reaches its apogee this weekend. It is, admittedly, going to be quite a lot of fun. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s clásico weekend predictions (last week: 10/15)
Defensa y Justicia v Arsenal
Atlético de Rafaela v Belgrano
San Martín v Godoy Cruz
Independiente v Racing
Olimpo v Sarmiento
Huracán v San Lorenzo
Chicago v Argentinos
Lanús v Banfield
River v Boca
Estudiantes v Gimnasia
Central v Newell’s
Tigre v Vélez
Colón v Unión
Temperley v Quilmes
Aldosivi v Crucero del Norte