Episode 297: cancelling Israel v Argentina and more

In the two hundred and ninety-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam and Andrés take you through the last week in Argentina’s World Cup preparations, which has included the cancellation of Saturday’s planned friendly away to Israel after the Argentine FA realised it wasn’t an idea absolutely everyone was completely delighted with. Elsewhere, the B Nacional playoff final ended with San Martín de Tucumán putting in an improved second leg showing to tear Sarmiento apart and win promotion to the Superliga, and we go through the other results so far from the lower divisions, as well as a restructuring of next season’s B Nacional.

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 297, 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.

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Episode 296: Trying to pick out the lessons from Argentina v Haiti

In the two hundred and ninety-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam and Andrés discuss Argentina’s pre-World Cup friendly victory over Haiti in the Bombonera. Did we learn anything, or merely have various things confirmed which we already knew? Should Cristian Pavón start ahead of Ángel Di María? Who is the first choice goalkeeper? And is there really any point in playing friendlies against sides who (with the greatest respect to Haiti) aren’t at the level Argentina will be facing in Russia?

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 296, 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.

Episode 295: Argentina’s World Cup squad, including Sergio Romero’s injury

The two hundred and ninety-fifth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by Andrés and Julián to discuss Argentina’s 23-man World Cup squad, and the chaos introduced to it by Tuesday’s news that first-choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero would miss the tournament with injury. Should Willy Caballero or Franco Armani be Romero’s replacement? In the outfield positions, are there any players missing who should be there, or any who are there who shouldn’t be? And what should we make of Jorge Sampaoli’s stated desire to play a 2-3-3-2 if possible? Which players would that involve – both for Sampaoli, and if one of us were the manager? All these questions and far more are up for discussion.

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 295, 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.

Episode 287: picking over the bones of Argentina’s 6-1 defeat to Spain

The two hundred and eighty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod was recorded on Tuesday evening, after the friendly which dominates this episode: Argentina’s record-equalling 6-1 defeat to Spain in Madrid. How much does Jorge Sampaoli need to change ahead of the World Cup? Is the situation salvageable from here? Is there any hope at all without Lionel Messi? Sam and English Dan consider the fallout. We also explain what’s going on with a court case involving Independiente, where a youth prostitution ring has been uncovered operating out of the club’s accommodation (without, we hasten to add, the club’s knowledge).

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.

This week’s guest predictor is Mystic Ahmed.

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

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

Episode 286: The gap at the top shrinks a little, Scocco shines again, and Argentina gear up

The two hundred and eighty-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by English Dan and Andrés to look back on a weekend of Superliga action which saw the gap at the top close to six points after Boca Junior could only draw following Talleres’ victory. That sets things up nicely for the resumption of hostilities after the international break, when Talleres visit Boca. Elsewhere, Racing thrashed Patronato and River Plate, fresh from their Supercopa win, deservedly beat Belgrano 3-1, with Nacho Scocco coming off the bench to score twice. Should he still be a sub? Finally, we discuss the Argentine national team, and how Jorge Sampaoli will be approaching their two upcoming friendlies.

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.

Episode 273: Lessons to learn for Jorge Sampaoli after two uninspiring friendlies

The seventh anniversary episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés get together for a chat about two friendlies which brought more problems to light than reason for optimism for the Argentine national team. A 1-0 win over Russia on Saturday was rather dull, and a 4-2 defeat to Nigeria on Tuesday has set alarm bells ringing well and truly regarding what the best tactics and formation are, and whether certain players ought to still be playing for Argentina at all. We also have a quick look over the Copa Argentina semi-finals, which resulted in a River Plate v Atlético Tucumán final, and discuss the FIFAGate fallout after Alejandro Burzaco’s first two days of testimony in New York.

You can subscribe to Hand Of Pod on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn, and follow us on Twitter.

This week, Mystic Sam takes on Mystic Youssef in the prediction competition.

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

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

Episode 272: Boca beat River to maintain their 100% start, and national team talk

In the two hundred and seventy-second episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam and Andrés discuss a dark week for River Plate, as elimination at the hands of Lanús in the Copa Libertadores last week was followed by defeat in an entertaining superclásico against Boca Juniors on Sunday. That win meant Boca still have a 100% record and are now seven points clear at the top of the Superliga table, with Unión in second place. As well as league talk, we also look at the main issues Jorge Sampaoli has to deal with as Argentina prepare to play Russia on Saturday and Nigeria on Tuesday in friendlies.

You can subscribe to Hand Of Pod on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn, and follow us on Twitter.