Episode 187: San Lorenzo lead as Boca lose again and River get a controversial win

In the hundred and eighty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Andrés and Gustavo meet to discuss the penultimate weekend of Primera División action before the league breaks for the Copa América. San Lorenzo are out on their own at the top due to a win over Quilmes combined with Boca Juniors losing for a second successive week, this time away to Vélez Sarsfield. River Plate got a slightly controversial win over Rosario Central, prompting us to ask whether Ramiro Funes Mori is the Argentine league’s answer to John Terry (because he seems to get away with a penalty decision every game, not all the… other stuff); we also look back on River’s Copa Libertadores progression last week, and Racing’s exit to Guaraní, both of which happened after episode 186 was recorded. As Gustavo is here, there’s a roundup of lower division action as well, focussing mainly on the Nacional B so far this year. 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 fifteenth round predictions (last week: 4/15)
Banfield v Sarmiento
Gimnasia v Unión
Argentinos v Quilmes
San Lorenzo v Belgrano
Temperley v Lanús
Colón v Huracán
Crucero del Norte v San Martín
Godoy Cruz v Arsenal
Atlético de Rafaela v Chicago
Boca v Newell’s
Central v Independiente
Olimpo v River
Racing v Vélez
Defensa y Justicia v Estudiantes
Tigre v Aldosivi

Episode 68: Arsenal campeón, Tigre survive, and River Plate return to the Primera

The sound on the sixty-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod is bad. We apologise for this, but there’s not a lot we could do about it. Sam and English Dan meet via Skype to discuss the final weekend of the 2012 Torneo Clausura, which saw Tigre survive (and thus enter the Copa Sudamericana) and Arsenal de Sarandí claim the first top flight title in their history. San Lorenzo and San Martín are in the relegation playoffs (the first legs of which have been played whilst this pod was being uploaded), whilst Banfield join Olimpo in the automatic relegation spots. But never mind all that: the biggest story in Argentine football right now is that River Plate are back in the Primera! Sam was at the 2-0 win over Almirante Brown which sealed their promotion, and gives his impressions of the season just gone and what there is to come, as well as an apology to Rogelio Funes Mori – yes, really. Enjoy; if you can hear it. HOP will be back in a couple of weeks.

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Episode 67: The title run-in and the relegation battle; and that’s just Tigre!

The sixty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and English Dan joined by Mariano again, to discuss an intriguing (or conspiratorial) run-in to the end of the Argentine season. This weekend’s matches will see the title either go to a tie-breaking playoff or handed to one of Tigre, Arsenal de Sarandí or Boca Juniors, whilst relegation matters will be settled between San Lorenzo, Banfield, Rafaela, Tigre and San Martín – and yes, I did type Tigre’s name in both lists just then. Boca Juniors’ pathetic performance against Arsenal, Tigre’s mathematical chances of both winning the title and being relegated, and fond farewells from home fans to Juan Sebastián Verón, Gabriel Milito and Esteban Fuertes – all this and more in this week’s episode. Enjoy.

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Episode 64: Two five-goal thrillers, Boca’s Libertadores and Clausura chances & more

In the sixty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod there’s a lot to get through. Sam, Dan and Dan take you through two five-goal thrillers from last weekend, both of which affected the relegation battles, with Olimpo now down with three matches left of the season. We look at Boca Juniors’ chances in the league (they’re now three points clear at the top) and Copa Libertadores, and briefly look forward to this Saturday’s World Cup qualifying match in the Estadio Monumental between Argentina and Ecuador – Sam and Aussie Dan will be there. We’ve a lot of listeners’ questions to answer on everything from how positions are decided in the event of a tie on points to Alejandro Sabella’s team selection in the national side.

Since we recorded, Boca Juniors put Rosario Central out of the Copa Argentina on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the quarter-final.

As ever, Mystic Dan’s predictions (for the Argentina match and the Copa Argentina games) are below, and you can click here if you want to subscribe to us on iTunes.

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Episode 63: Tigre’s escape act, Boca leading the way and much more

The sixty-third episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Dan and Dan joined by Joel Richards to discuss another action-packed week in Argentine football. Tigre, astonishingly, might finally manage to climb out of the relegation zone this coming weekend if they beat Atlético Rafaela; Boca Juniors’ reserves dispatched Racing 2-0 on Sunday to go top of the league, whilst Tigre, Newell’s Old Boys and Arsenal de Sarandí are all only a point behind, and All Boys are probably the most amusing of the potential champions, only two points off the lead. Questions include Boca Juniors’ proposed plans for a new stadium, River Plate’s likely squad changes if they gain promotion back to the Primera División and more.

As ever, Mystic Dan’s predictions are below the ‘Continue reading’ line. And you can click here to subscribe to us on iTunes.

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Episode 42: Reviewing the qualifiers and looking forward to Boca v Racing, with Joel Richards

In the forty-second episode of Hand Of Pod, we turn one year old (well, it was a few days ago). To mark the occasion, we’re joined by Joel Richards, and Seba, clearly afraid of being shown up, has scarpered. We discuss a disappointing result for Argentina against Bolivia, a very good result for Argentina against Colombia, and what it means for certain players (we’re looking at you, Martín Demichelis…). Joel also does a fine job of justifying José Sosa’s existe- sorry, place in the national side. We then shift our focus to the upcoming weekend, which sees first play second in La Bombonera. If Boca win against Racing, they’ll need just a point to claim the title. All this, plus another rant about the organisation of the Copa Argentina (a tournament Hand Of Pod is leading the world’s media in covering, pretty much). What more could you want?

As usual, Mystic Dan’s predictions for the fifteenth round are below, and you can click here to subscribe to us on iTunes.

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Episode 24: Vélez’s title, the relegation run-in… and Martín Palermo’s retirement

In the 24th episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan and Dan discuss Vélez’s title win on Sunday, and offer their commiserations to Lanús. Sam gives an impromptu history lesson about Alumni, the first side to dominate the Argentine top flight, English Dan tells us about an amazing comeback from Godoy Cruz away to Racing, and we take a look at the weekend to come, when five games will be played at the same time due to the relegation situation. There’s praise for Godoy’s Mariano Donda and Huracán’s Javier Cámpora, and we end by looking at Martín Palermo’s highly, um, moving farewell to La Bombonera.

As usual, Mystic Dan’s final round predictions are below the ‘Continue reading’ line. And here’s where to click if you like us so much you want to subscribe on iTunes.

Continue reading “Episode 24: Vélez’s title, the relegation run-in… and Martín Palermo’s retirement”