Episode 274: Boca lose more than a match, and Lanús’ first Libertadores final begins

The two hundred and seventy-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Andrés and Sam discuss a weekend of Superliga action which saw Boca Juniors lose for the first time in the league this season, thanks to probably Racing’s best performance so far – and which brought more bad news for Boca late on with an injury to Darío Benedetto which will probably keep him out until the end of the season. River Plate also lost the weekend, but finally won on Wednesday to end a run of six league games without a victory, while San Lorenzo went second and Independiente and Lanús both started continental ties this week: Independiente in the Copa Sudamericana semi-finals, and Lanús in the Copa Libertadores final. Both lost 1-0, but it’s all still to play for …

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Last week, Mystic Youssef beat Mystic Sam 4-3 in the prediction battle. This week, no-one else volunteered, so Youssef is back, and Sam gets a shot at revenge!

Youssef
Banfield vs Defensa y Justicia
Chacarita vs Huracán
Colón vs Tigre
Belgrano vs Gimnasia
Patronato vs Unión
San Lorenzo vs Argentinos
Racing vs Independiente
River vs Newell’s
Central vs Boca
Arsenal vs Talleres
Vélez vs Olimpo
Temperley vs San Martín

Sam
Banfield vs Def y Justicia
Chacarita vs Huracán
Colón vs Tigre
Belgrano vs Gimnasia
Patronato vs Unión
San Lorenzo vs Argentinos
Racing vs Independiente
River vs Newell’s
Central vs Boca
Arsenal vs Talleres
Vélez vs Olimpo
Temperley vs San Martín

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Episode 271: Lanús qualify for their first Libertadores final, and previewing River v Boca

In episode 271 of Hand Of Pod, Sam and English Dan have an afternoon conversation about two big continental ties: the all-Argentine Copa Libertadores semi-final which saw Lanús come back from 3-0 down on aggregate to beat River Plate 4-3 and advance to the first Libertadores final in the club’s history, and Racing’s Copa Sudamericana exit at the hands of Paraguayan giants Libertad, which it’s fair to say was somewhat less thrilling. Independiente should keep the Argentine flag flying (their Copa Sudamericana quarter-final second leg was going to plan as this episode was uploaded), and Boca Juniors extended their lead in the Superliga, winning as River and Lanús (who both fielded reserve sides) both lost; they’re now six points clear of second-placed San Lorenzo, ahead of this weekend’s visit to River Plate, which we of course preview.

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Last week, Mystic Sam beat Mystic Gav 7-4 in the predict-off. This week, no-one volunteered and Sam forgot to tweet a challenge out, so here are Mystic Sam’s eighth round predictions on their own.

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

Episode 270: a Copa Argentina and Copa Libertadores roundup

There was no league football in Argentina over the weekend, so episode 270 of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Andrés and English Dan discussing knockout competitions instead – we have a review of the Copa Argentina quarter-finals, which saw second tier Morón make it to the semi-finals, where they’ll play River Plate, and a review of the first leg of the Copa Libertadores semi-final between River and Lanús, as well as a look at the Copa Sudamericana quarter-final first legs so far.

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This week, Mystic Jimmy takes on Mystic Sam in the prediction battle. Two weeks ago, in the last round of matches, Mystic Gav beat Sam 6-5.

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

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

Episode 267: Previewing Argentina’s two final World Cup qualifiers

The two hundred and sixty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod is a look at the Argentine national team as they approach two high-pressure World Cup qualifiers at home to Peru and away to Ecuador, which will either see them finally make it to Russia 2018 or not (all right, or end up in the playoff). Sam and English Dan give their thoughts on the four(!) lineups tried by Jorge Sampaoli in training on Tuesday, and discuss what needs to change from last month’s disappointing double header if the selección are to make it over the line at last. We also look at the weekend in the Superliga, where Boca Juniors kept up their 100% record – just – and Arsenal de Sarandí stunned Banfield to record their first points of the season.

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Last week, Mystic Sam and Mystic Chris drew 7-7 in the prediction battle. This week, Sam and Dan give their predictions for the last two rounds of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying action.

Dan
Bolivia v Brazil
Venezuela v Uruguay
Colombia v Paraguay
Chile v Ecuador
Argentina v Peru

Paraguay v Venezuela
Brazil v Chile
Ecuador v Argentina
Peru
v Colombia
Uruguay v Bolivia

Sam
Bolivia v Brazil
Venezuela v Uruguay
Colombia
v Paraguay
Chile v Ecuador
Argentina v Peru

Paraguay v Venezuela
Brazil v Chile
Ecuador v Argentina
Peru v Colombia
Uruguay v Bolivia

Episode 264: Wrapping up the second weekend, and more national team talk

In the two hundred and sixty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, English Dan and Andrés are joined by Julián for his second appearance, around two and a half years after his first. We look back on a second weekend of Superliga action which saw wins for River and Boca, a 4-1 tonking of Temperley by Racing, and – shock, horror – a goalless draw between Rosario Central and San Lorenzo. Last week’s national team talk has sparked something of a discussion among our Twitter followers, so we address that in the second half, along with a look at why the national team are moving to La Bombonera for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Peru.

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Mystic Sam’s third round predictions (last week he got 3/14)
Tigre v Patronato
Colón v Estudiantes
Argentinos v Belgrano
Defensa y Justicia v Unión
Newell’s v Olimpo
San Lorenzo v Arsenal
Independiente v Lanús
Talleres v Vélez
Atl. Tucumán v Chacarita
Banfield v Racing
Boca v Godoy Cruz
San Martín v River
Gimnasia v Huracán
Temperley v Central

Episode 262: Reviewing Boca’s title win, and some end of season tidying-up

The two hundred and sixty-second episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés bid farewell to a memorable 2016-17 season which ended with Boca Juniors crowned champions of Argentina for the thirty-second time, and with Sarmiento, Atlético de Rafaela, Quilmes and Aldosivi being relegated. Sam takes you through the ins and outs of Copa Libertadores and Sudamericana qualification (still pending, because the Copa Argentina final isn’t until the end of the year), and we discuss what made Boca worthy champions, what some of the other clubs will be thinking of their seasons, and our players of the season, including Sam’s Domestic Argentina Squad, which you’ll find on the HOP blogpost accompanying this episode. This is our last episode for a couple of months – we’ll be back when Sam returns from his holidays, probably at the start of September.

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Sam’s domestic Argentina squad of the season

Goalkeepers: Esteban Andrada (Lanús); Jorge Broun (Colón); Gabriel Arias (Defensa y Justicia); Alexis Arias (Gimnasia)

Defenders: Leonel Di Plácido (Atl. Tucumán); José Luis Gómez (Lanús); Alexander Barboza (Defensa y Justicia); Guillermo Ortíz (Colón); Jonatan Maidana (River Plate); Jonathan Silva (Boca Juniors); Nicolás Tagliafico (Independiente)

Midfielders: Iván Marcone (Lanús); Marcos Acuña (Racing); Gonzalo Martínez (River); Fernando Gago (Boca); Ignacio Fernández (River); Facundo Quignón (Newell’s Old Boys); Emanuel Reynoso (Talleres); Emiliano Rigoni (Independiente); Ricardo Centurión (Boca)

Forwards: Cristian Pavón (Boca); Darío Benedetto (Boca); Sebastián Driussi (River); Lucas Alario (River); Gustavo Bou (Racing)

Episode 260: Previewing Argentina v Brazil, and Boca Juniors put one hand on the league trophy

The two hundred and sixtieth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés looking back over a weekend which saw River Plate lose ground in potentially decisive fashion to Boca Juniors, whose win over Independiente – combined with River’s defeat to San Lorenzo – sent them four points clear with just three matches remaining. It was also an interesting weekend for the relegation battle, and we look over the key results there. On Friday, Jorge Sampaoli’s reign as Argentina manager begins in earnest with a friendly in Australia against Brazil, and we also preview that.

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