Episode 375: ¡Boca campeón! and what is going on with the Superliga?

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In this week’s Hand Of Pod, Sam, Andrés and Tony look back on the drama of Boca Juniors’ title win, as the Xeneize pipped River Plate on the last day to win their third Argentine championship in four seasons. We also looked at the other drama from the weekend just gone … which was almost none, because continental spots and relegation won’t be decided until the end of the Copa Superliga group stage (if indeed that goes the distance). We also discuss the current situation regarding next season’s league system for the top flight.

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Episode 279: Boca pull clear, River in crisis and Unión keep up the good form

Episode 279 of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés meet to discuss the opening weekend of football in Argentina in 2018, which included a Talleres win over San Lorenzo, giving Boca Juniors the chance to open a six-point gap at the top of the Superliga table – a chance the champions took in beating Colón. River Plate lost away to Huracán and, more worryingly, showed no signs of having adapted their gameplan over the summer break. Unión continue their fine form of 2017, and are now third, while Gabriel Heinze’s spell at Vélez Sarsfield got off to a good start with a 1-0 away win over Defensa y Justicia. Newell’s Old Boys almost suffered the indignity of dropping points to Arsenal de Sarandí, but were bailed out at the last minute.

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Last week, Mystic Simon beat Mystic Sam 7-5 in the prediction battle. This week, Sam’s all on his own. Here are his picks for this weekend’s games.

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

Episode 197: More AFA power struggles, crisis at Crucero del Norte and violence rears its head again

This week’s Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés have as much off-pitch stuff to focus on as on-pitch. San Lorenzo drew and Boca Juniors won, to leave Boca two points clear at the top heading into this Sunday’s clash of the top two, but the bigger news last weekend was in Mendoza, where Godoy Cruz v Racing was called off after 25 minutes with Racing leading 1-0, after Godoy Cruz barras started pelting the players with stones, apparently in protest at new manager Gabriel Heinze’s refusal to give them money. There is also crisis at Crucero del Norte, whose players have started to publicly complain about how they have to travel to away matches. As well as all this, we look at the latest bizarre twists in the ongoing story of Marcelo Tinelli’s campaign to get elected as president of the Argentine FA, look at two more points dropped by River Plate, and much more. 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-second round predictions (last week: 3/14)
Banfield v Argentinos
Tigre v Godoy Cruz
Central v Arsenal
Temperley v Belgrano
Defensa y Justicia v Newell’s
Huracán v Independiente
Crucero v Lanús
Colón v Sarmiento
Boca v San Lorenzo
Racing v Gimnasia
Olimpo v Unión
Chicago v River
San Martín v Vélez
Atlético de Rafaela v Quilmes
Estudiantes v Aldosivi

Episode 190: Boca top the table ahead of Tevez’s return & River take a first leg Libertadores lead

The hundred-and-nintieth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by Andrés, Fede and long-time HOP listener but first-time HOP contributor Johnny to look back over an eventful week. Boca Juniors leapfrogged San Lorenzo into top spot in the league, getting a gritty 1-0 win away to Sarmiento after both San Lorenzo and River Plate had been held to draws earlier in the weekend. For River, at least, there was the consolation of a fine performance and 2-0 win on Tuesday night in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores semi-final against Guaraní of Paraguay – the second leg will be next Tuesday in Asunción. On Monday, as well as a Vélez Sarsfield v Tigre match which saw a dramatic finish, there was Carlos Tevez’s unveiling at La Bombonera, to which around 40,000 people showed up – Boca fans Fede and Johnny give us their thoughts on Carlitos’ return and what it means for the team. As well as all this, we have a look at a few managerial debutants, including Gabriel Heinze, who Sam believes is the first graduate of both the Ferguson and Bielsa schools of football management (i.e. he played under both of them). 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 seventeenth round predictions (last week: 9/15)
San Lorenzo v Arsenal
Banfield v Belgrano
Atlético de Rafaela v River
Carlos Tevez FC Boca v Quilmes
Defensa y Justicia v Nueva Chicago
Colón v Lanús
Olimpo v Aldosivi
Racing v Sarmiento
Crucero del Norte v Estudiantes
Temperley v Independiente
Tigre v Newell’s
Central v Vélez
San Martín v Huracán
Gimnasia v Godoy Cruz
Argentinos v Unión