Episode 268: Argentina are off to Russia. It was never in doubt

The two hundred and sixty-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Peter and Andrés discuss Argentina’s qualification for the Russia 2018 World Cup, in spite of a 0-0 draw at home to Peru last Thursday and owing rather more to a hat trick from Lionel Messi in Quito which brought a 3-1 win away to Ecuador on Tuesday, in the last match of the campaign. What comes next, what needs to be tweaked, and what should remain the same are all up for discussion.

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Last week, Dan beat Sam in the World Cup qualifying predict-off. This week, Mystic Gav takes Sam on at predicting the next round of Superliga action.

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

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

Episode 236: What is wrong with Argentina?

The two hundred and thirty-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Peter convene to discuss the recent World Cup qualifying double-header: like the midfield on Tuesday night in Córdoba, there’s not an Argentine in sight. We give our thoughts on two bafflingly below-par performances which saw Argentina gain just one point and lose a home World Cup qualifier for the fourth time ever, consider which names we would (and wouldn’t) like to see in the national team setup, and more. And at the end, Peter provides his predictions of what will happen in this weekend’s Primera matches, because Sam forgot to ask any listeners to do the same.

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Mystic Peter’s sixth round predictions (two weeks ago Mystic Liam got 8/15)
Defensa y Justicia v Banfield
Belgrano v Aldosivi
Vélez v Colón
Atl. Rafaela v Racing
Huracán v Temperley
Estudiantes v Central
San Martín v Talleres
Independiente v Atl. Tucumán
Lanús v Godoy Cruz
Olimpo v Tigre
Boca v Sarmiento
Newell’s v Gimnasia
Arsenal v San Lorenzo
Patronato v River
Unión v Quilmes

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 207: We are five! Previewing Argentina v Brazil with Tim Vickery

Episode 207 of Hand Of Pod is a very special one, because on Friday we turn five years old. Sam is joined for the celebration by Andrés, English Dan, Peter and very special guest Tim Vickery, who’s flown down from Rio de Janeiro specially for the occasion. Entirely coincidentally to Tim’s visit (honest), on Thursday night Argentina host Brazil in World Cup qualifying, so after a review of last weekend’s most important league action – which saw Nueva Chicago relegated in spite of an impressive win over Quilmes – and a discussion about our team of the championship, we move on to previewing Argentina v Brazil. There’s plenty of chat throughout about the differences between football in the two countries, from the trends in management (Argentina good, Brazil bad) to player development, in which it seems both countries have something of an imbalance in very different ways. 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 predictions for Argentina’s two upcoming WCQs:
Two draws

Episode 203: Argentina aren’t much cop without Messi, and will the title be decided this weekend?

In the two hundred and third episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam is joined by Andrés, English Dan and Fran to look back on a disappointing start to Argentina’s World Cup qualifying campaign, in which without Lionel Messi to provide the inspiration they looked listless and took just one point from matches at home to Ecuador (a 2 -0 defeat) and away to Paraguay (0-0). Why was there no centre forward to call on when Sergio Agüero got injured? Is it worth continuing to call up Carlos Tevez? Is Javier Mascherano being used in the right role? These are just some of the questions we consider. After that, there’s the small matter of Boca Juniors possibly winning the league on Sunday night, when they face Racing, and the rest of a tasty-looking weekend of league action ahead. 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 twenty-eighth round predictions (from Argentina’s WCQs: 0/2)
Crucero del Norte v Independiente
Huracán v Sarmiento
Lanús v Vélez
Estudiantes v Quilmes
San Martín v Belgrano
Colón v Arsenal
Atl. Rafaela v Godoy Cruz
Chicago v Newell’s
Olimpo v San Lorenzo
Central v Argentinos
Tigre v Banfield
Racing v Boca
River v Aldosivi
Defensa y Justicia v Unión
Temperley v Gimnasia