Episode 328: Racing’s league lead remains at 3 points, and Scaloni welcomes Messi back for Argentina

The three-hundred-and-twenty-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by Andrés and English Dan to review a weekend on which the gap at the top remained at three points, with Racing and Defensa y Justicia the only realistic title hopefuls (and likely to be the only ones with even a mathematical chance by the end of the coming round). We also look back on Tuesday’s Copa Libertadores matches involving Argentine sides, and consider Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina squad – which was named after the pod was recorded, but which as expected marks the return of Lionel Messi to international football.

HOP is sponsored by Fanatiz. Fanatiz allows you to watch the Argentine Superliga and the Copa Argentina live or on demand, as well as offering TyCSports International and other premium South American sports channels to viewers outside Latin America. If you’re in the United States, it also allows you to watch the Copas Libertadores and Sudamericana live, and European competitions including Spain’s La Liga, via tie-ins with beIN Sports and Gol TV. HOP listeners can get 20% off their first three months with Fanatiz by visiting this page and using the discount code ‘hopfz’ (without the quote marks) when signing up.

You can follow HOP in various ways. We have a Facebook page, and a Twitter page. You can subscribe on iTunes, SpotifyStitcher or TuneIn. And if you’d like to help support the pod financially, you can find us on Patreon.

Episode 294: the end-of-season special

The two hundred and ninety-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by English Dan and Andrés to discuss the final weekend of Superliga 2017–18 action, in which there were a few high-scoring games, a few surprising results (including Independiente, Talleres and Racing falling over one another in their rush to not qualify for the Copa Libertadores)and a tight finish all round for the Copa places. We also have a look at a bad week for gender relations at the AFA and for TyCSports’ publicity department.

A reminder that HOP is now on Patreon, where you’ll find two extra mini-episodes each week if you support us to the tune of US$5 per month or more. The latest HOP Extra, recorded right after we finished up episode 292, is already online. You can join the ranks of our supporters here.

You can follow HOP in various ways. We have a Facebook page, for example, and we’re on Twitter as well. You can subscribe on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn.

In a ding-dong battle last week, Mystic Sam triumphed 7-6 over Mystic Chris. This week of course there are no predictions, so instead here’s what the Listeners’ XI of the Season, as voted for by our Twitter followers, looks like:

M. Campaña (IND)

F. Bustos (IND) —- G. Conti (COL) —- L. Magallán (BOC) —- F. Fabra (BOC)

W. Barrios (BOC)

M. Meza (IND) ————————— G. Fernández (GCR)

C. Pavón (BOC) —————————————————————————————- G. Martínez (RIV)

L. Martínez (RAC)

Because Sam is an idiot, Franco Armani and Ricardo Centurión were both listed among the nominations accidentally even though both were one game short of the stated 15-appearance minimum. Both won their votes (Armani as goalkeeper, Centurión in the LMC position Pol Fernández has taken), but have been disqualified following a steward’s enquiry.

Episode 293: Boca win a second straight title

It was fitting, given the way the season has gone, that Boca Juniors sealed their second consecutive league title with a draw in which they almost seemed to be trying to let the point slip away from them at times. In the two hundred and ninety-third episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam is joined by Andrés and Mariano to discuss Boca’s title, why none of the chasing pack (not least San Lorenzo) had the wherewithal to make it into a proper title race, and all the ups and downs of the penultimate weekend of Superliga action, as well as looking forward to the final round of games.

A reminder that HOP is now on Patreon, where you’ll find two extra mini-episodes each week if you support us to the tune of US$5 per month or more. The latest HOP Extra, recorded right after we finished up episode 292, is already online. You can join the ranks of our supporters here.

You can follow HOP in various ways. We have a Facebook page, for example, and we’re on Twitter as well. You can subscribe on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn.

Last week, Mystic Sam beat Mystic Nate 7-3. This week, Mystic Chris is the challenger.

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

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

Episode 292: a cancellation conspiracy, and more

In the two hundred and ninety-second episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam and Andrés discuss the silliness of the conspiracy theories surrounding why Gimnasia v Boca Juniors was called off on Sunday (some fans seem to think Daniel Angelici controls the weather), and we look back at a Superliga weekend which saw Godoy Cruz keep up their slim title hopes with a clásico victory, and a five goal thriller (of sorts) in Parque Patricios among other matches.

A reminder that HOP is now on Patreon, where you’ll find two extra mini-episodes each week if you support us to the tune of US$5 per month or more. The latest HOP Extra, recorded right after we finished up episode 292, is already online. You can join the ranks of our supporters here.

You can follow HOP in various ways. We have a Facebook page, for example, and we’re on Twitter as well. You can subscribe on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn.

From the matches that actually ended up taking place last weekend, Mystic Sam got 6/11. This week, we have a challenger again: Mystic Nate.

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

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

Episode 290: the relegation race is settled, but is the title race back on … again?

The two hundred and ninetieth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by Peter and Andrés to look back on a weekend of Superliga action in which the remaining three relegation spots were all decided, and the title race one last breath of life given to it thanks to Godoy Cruz’s sixth consecutive win and Boca Juniors’ second consecutive defeat. River Plate’s efficient form continues, and we look at why Vélez Sarsfield have become so much harder to beat under Gabriel Heinze, even though they’re still winning barely any matches.

You can follow HOP in various ways. We have a Facebook page, for example, and we’re on Twitter as well. You can subscribe on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn.

Mystic Sam was beaten 8-5 by Mystic WaywardfromHayward last week. This week, he takes on Mystic Liam.

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

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

Episode 289: Defensa shock Boca, but no one can take advantage

The two hundred and eighty-ninth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Andrés meet to discuss a weekend of action in the Superliga which saw Boca Juniors’ defeat to Defensa y Justicia on Saturday throw the door wide open for Talleres and San Lorenzo … and Talleres and San Lorenzo both fail completely to take advantage. There’s a new second place team thanks to Godoy Cruz tonking San Lorenzo 5-0 on Sunday, but they’re still seven points behind the leaders and there are now just five games remaining. Elsewhere, River Plate kept up their great run of domestic form with a 2-0 away win over Racing that was clinical if not spectacular, and Chacarita Juniors aren’t dead yet – have a listen to find out why Sam reckons there’s an AFA conspiracy to keep them in the Superliga (well, not really. But if they win again this weekend with some iffy refereeing, then maybe).

You can follow HOP in various ways. We have a Facebook page, for example, and we’re on Twitter as well. You can subscribe on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn.

Last week, Mystic Sam beat Mystic Jimmy 8-5. This week, Mystic WaywardfromHayward steps up to the plate.

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

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

Episode 228: ¡Lanús campeón!, and previewing the Copa América Centenario

The two hundred and twenty-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés look back on a weekend of two entertaining games in which Estudiantes saw off Godoy Cruz for third place (and thus don’t have to wait to find out whether they’ll be in the Copa Libertadores next season) and Lanús thrashed San Lorenzo 4-0 in the Monumental in the championship final to be crowned kings of Argentina for the second time in their history. We ask what’s next for various clubs, look at Boca Juniors’ Copa Libertadores reinforcements so far, and have a discussion of the ridiculous (even by their standards) goings-on at the Argentine FA in the last week or so, before previewing Argentina’s hopes in the Copa América Centenario and answering listeners’ questions. We’ll be back after the international competition, so enjoy it!

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

Episode 227: Farewell Diego Milito, and previewing the weekend’s championship final

The two hundred and twenty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Andrés discuss the last weekend of ‘regular season’ action from Argentina’s Torneo de Transición 2016, which saw a lot of dead rubbers including an emotional farewell to Diego Milito as the Racing legend played his final match. Also discussed are where River Plate’s campaign went wrong, and the meaningful games which saw Argentinos Juniors relegated, San Lorenzo qualify for Sunday’s championship final against Lanús and Godoy Cruz left having to face Estudiantes for a place in next year’s Copa Libertadores (to the losers: probably also a place in next year’s Copa Libertadores. It’s very silly). All this and much more await!

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

Last week, Mystic Alex got 5/15. This weekend, the panel’s predictions for the two matches are unanimous that Estudiantes will beat Godoy Cruz to third place, while Andrés and Dan think Lanús will win the title, and Sam thinks San Lorenzo can do it.

Episode 226: Everything you need to know about relegation, final and Libertadores qualification

This coming weekend wraps up the group stage of the 2016 Primera championship, and Hand Of Pod 226, with Sam, Andrés and Fede, contains all you need to know about the permutations. Godoy Cruz and San Lorenzo remain separated only on goal difference in their quest to qualify for the championship final against Lanús; one of them will take on either Estudiantes or Atlético Tucumán for a place in next year’s Copa Libertadores group stage, whilst Argentinos Juniors and Sarmiento are the two sides involved in the relegation battle – although others need to keep racking up points too, because for reasons we go into in the second half of the podcast, we still don’t know how many teams will be relegated next season. Rosario Central’s and Boca Juniors’ chances in the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals are also up for discussion.

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

Mystic Alex’s sixteenth round predictions (last week Mystic Latam Football got 7/15)
Newell’s v Atlético Tucuman
Vélez v Patronato
Tigre v Aldosivi
Atlético de Rafaela v Argentinos
Arsenal v River
San Lorenzo v Banfield
Belgrano v Central
Boca
v Defensa y Justicia
Gimnasia v Colón
Unión v Estudiantes
San Martín v Godoy Cruz
Lanús
v Huracán
Quilmes v Independiente
Olimpo v Sarminento
Racing v Temperley

Episode 225: Lanús cross the line, Central & Boca fly the flag in the Libertadores

The two hundred and twenty-fifth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés joined by Killian to look back over a weekend of league action which saw Lanús secure a place in their championship final by winning Group 2 with two matches to spare, whilst the race for the top of Group 1 remains neck and neck between Godoy Cruz (who are ahead on goal difference) and San Lorenzo. Now that River Plate are definitely out of the Copa Libertadores, there’s the opportunity for some discussion of their struggles since winning last year’s Copa, and Rosario Central and Boca Juniors are the only Argentine sides left standing in the continental competition. As well as this, we have some talk about club finances and political goings-on at the AFA which we’re sure you’ll find just fascinating.

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

Mystic Latam Football’s fifteenth round predictions (last week the Mystic Die got 2/15)
Huracán v Unión
Atlético Tucumán v San Martín
Defensa y Justicia v Racing
Godoy Cruz v Belgrano
Colón v San Lorenzo
River v Gimnasia
Independiente v Arsenal
Argentinos v Lanús
Temperley v Newell’s
Sarmiento v Tigre
Aldosivi v Atlético de Rafaela
Central v Quilmes
Estudiantes v Boca
Patronato v Olimpo
Banfield v Vélez