This week, Sam and English Dan catch up with what’s been going on in the three weeks since we last recorded. The main focus is on trying to unpick exactly what went on in São Paulo a couple of weeks back when the Brazil v Argentina World Cup qualifier was called off – and what do we think will happen next? We also give you a quick overview of the other World Cup qualifying matches (including yet another record for Lionel Messi) and give you a Liga Profesional update.
On this week’s HOP Sam, English Dan and Santi preview the upcoming World Cup qualifying triple-header, and have a rant at the (partially successful) attempt by English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese clubs to distort the World Cup qualifying process.
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’).
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
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.
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
In the forty-second episode of Hand Of Pod, we turn one year old (well, it was a few days ago). To mark the occasion, we’re joined by Joel Richards, and Seba, clearly afraid of being shown up, has scarpered. We discuss a disappointing result for Argentina against Bolivia, a very good result for Argentina against Colombia, and what it means for certain players (we’re looking at you, Martín Demichelis…). Joel also does a fine job of justifying José Sosa’s existe- sorry, place in the national side. We then shift our focus to the upcoming weekend, which sees first play second in La Bombonera. If Boca win against Racing, they’ll need just a point to claim the title. All this, plus another rant about the organisation of the Copa Argentina (a tournament Hand Of Pod is leading the world’s media in covering, pretty much). What more could you want?
The forty-first episode of Hand Of Pod is introduced by a real-life professional Argentine footballer, Crystal Palace goalkeeper Julián Speroni. After his dulcet tones, we discuss Boca Juniors’ continuing march to the league title, and Racing’s first win in six matches on Saturday night, as well as other weekend action including a hideous broken leg at Unión, and a derby win for Lanús (which means they need just a point to completely ensure qualification for next year’s Copa Libertadores). Attention then shifts to the upcoming round of World Cup qualifiers and Alejandro Sabella’s squad selection, which is starting to annoy us a bit. Towards the end, Ralph Hannah tells us about why he’s going to be meeting Paraguay and Vélez legend José Luis Chilavert on Friday, and we discuss some of the great man’s finest moments (you’ll find a couple of videos below).