Episode 311: A quietly successful mini tour for the national team, and a Copa Argentina roundup

In the three hundred and eleventh episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam and Andrés give a quick roundup of the Copa Argentina, before taking a deep dive into the lukewarm pool of the national team, whose two clean sheets against Guatemala and Colombia – with two different goalkeepers! – were arguably the brightest thing about their first two games under caretaker manager Lionel Scaloni.

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No one challenged Mystic Sam this week, so here are his predictions for the fifth round of Superliga action.
Estudiantes v Aldosivi
Atlético Tucumán v Tigre
Independiente v Colón
River v San Martín de San Juan
Belgrano v Newell’s
Argentinos v Boca
Patronato v Gimnasia
Vélez v San Martín de Tucumán
Unión v Talleres
Lanús v Racing
Godoy Cruz v San Lorenzo
Huracán v Banfield
Central v Defensa y Justicia

Episode 208: Argentina finally click in World Cup qualifying, and we gear up for the playoffs

The two hundred and eighth episode of Hand Of Pod is a relatively short one (by our standards), in which Sam and English Dan meet to discuss the encouraging improvement in Argentina’s performances in World Cup qualifying, which in the last week have seen them claim a (slightly unlucky) 1-1 draw at home to Brazil and a 1-0 win way to Colombia. Is Gerardo Martino’s ‘idea’ any clearer, and how will it be affected when Lionel Messi returns to the team? We also look forward to the pre-Sudamericana and pre-Libertadores liguillas (playoff tournaments) which are all that now remain of the Argentine Primera season for 2015, and have a rather inexpert go at working out which teams have been and might still be promoted from the second and third divisions. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Episode 42: Reviewing the qualifiers and looking forward to Boca v Racing, with Joel Richards

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?

As usual, Mystic Dan’s predictions for the fifteenth round are below, and you can click here to subscribe to us on iTunes.

Continue reading “Episode 42: Reviewing the qualifiers and looking forward to Boca v Racing, with Joel Richards”

Episode 41: Boca edge closer to the title, Racing win again at last, & upcoming World Cup qualifiers

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).

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Juan Ramón Fleita’s bicycle kick against Chilavert

Chilavert’s halfway line goal against River