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.

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

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

Episode 198: San Lorenzo beat Boca to top spot, Argentina friendlies and a whole round of clásicos!

The hundred and ninety-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod features Sam, Andrés and Mariano discussing last weekend’s results, including San Lorenzo’s 1-0 win away to Boca Juniors which took them top of the league, and River Plate’s return to winning ways in a 4-1 tonking-which-wasn’t-really-a-tonking of Nueva Chicago. There are also two national team friendlies to discuss, and the main lesson everyone appears to have learned from Argentina’s 7-0 thrashing of Bolivia and their chaotic 2-2 draw with Mexico is that Matías Kranevitter is the real deal, and a lot of other stuff is still up in the air. As well as this, we have a whole round of clásicos to preview, as the AFA’s ridiculous league format reaches its apogee this weekend. It is, admittedly, going to be quite a lot of fun. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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

Mystic Sam’s clásico weekend predictions (last week: 10/15)
Defensa y Justicia v Arsenal
Atlético de Rafaela v Belgrano
San Martín v Godoy Cruz
Independiente v Racing
Olimpo v Sarmiento
Huracán v San Lorenzo
Chicago v Argentinos
Lanús v Banfield
River v Boca
Estudiantes v Gimnasia
Central v Newell’s
Tigre v Vélez
Colón v Unión
Temperley v Quilmes
Aldosivi v Crucero del Norte

Episode 193: River Plate win the Copa Libertadores, and plenty of goals in the league

The hundred and ninety-third episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by Andrés, Peter, Joel and special guest Richard Martin to talk about River Plate’s 3-0 win over Tigres UANL on Wednesday night, and the third Copa Libertadores title it gave the club. The role of Marcelo Gallardo in using and adapting River’s tradition and expectations, the key players in the win and where the squad might go next are all discussed, before we move on to talk about a goal-packed weekend in the Primera División which ended with Boca Juniors and San Lorenzo tied on points at the top (River, three points behind them, didn’t play at the weekend and have a game in hand). There’s no football this weekend in Argentina due to primary elections, but Mystic Joel instead tells you what to bet on in the political sphere (not really). HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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