Episode 207: We are five! Previewing Argentina v Brazil with Tim Vickery

Episode 207 of Hand Of Pod is a very special one, because on Friday we turn five years old. Sam is joined for the celebration by Andrés, English Dan, Peter and very special guest Tim Vickery, who’s flown down from Rio de Janeiro specially for the occasion. Entirely coincidentally to Tim’s visit (honest), on Thursday night Argentina host Brazil in World Cup qualifying, so after a review of last weekend’s most important league action – which saw Nueva Chicago relegated in spite of an impressive win over Quilmes – and a discussion about our team of the championship, we move on to previewing Argentina v Brazil. There’s plenty of chat throughout about the differences between football in the two countries, from the trends in management (Argentina good, Brazil bad) to player development, in which it seems both countries have something of an imbalance in very different ways. 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 predictions for Argentina’s two upcoming WCQs:
Two draws

In the two hundred and fourth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam is joined by Andrés and English Dan for a look at last weekend’s Primera División action, which saw Boca Juniors fail to capitalise on a fine chance to claim the title after San Lorenzo had lost – Boca were well beaten by Racing, and will need a result at home to Tigre next weekend in order to avoid a nervy title-decider on the last weekend away to Rosario Central. Nueva Chicago got a spectacular 5-0 win at home to Newell’s Old Boys on a goal-packed weekend, but then had to watch as Colón got a 3-1 win over Arsenal – Colón’s first win in six matches – which means Chicago are five points adrift with two matches remaining. There was plenty more to discuss, from River Plate’s apathy towards the league to whether Daniel Oldrá is a better manager than Gabriel Heinze for Godoy Cruz (okay, not really much of a discussion on that last point). There’s no Argentine football this weekend apart from the Copa Argentina semi-finals on Friday night, and we preview those as well. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Episode 196: San Lorenzo and Boca extend their lead, Gerardo Martino isn’t happy and more

In the hundred and ninety-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam and Andrés look back on a weekend which saw San Lorenzo and Boca Juniors extend their (joint-)leadership of the title race, as they both won and River Plate slumped to a second straight defeat. Even more amazingly, Nueva Chicago won for the second week running – though we suspect both they and the team they beat, Crucero del Norte, will still be the two sides ultimately doomed to relegation. Argentina manager Gerardo Martino had some choice words for the Argentine FA’s schedulers, and River are entering the transfer market after Ramiro Funes Mori’s sale to Everton leaves them with a slot to fill in the defence and the cash to do so. 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 twenty-second round predictions (last week: 6/15)
Newell’s v Colón
Argentinos v Crucero del Norte
Sarmiento v Atl. Rafaela
Vélez v Defensa y Justicia
Quilmes v Temperley
Arsenal v Tigre
San Lorenzo v Banfield
Independiente v Estudiantes
River v Huracán
Unión v Central
Aldosivi v San Martín
Belgrano v Olimpo
Godoy Cruz v Racing
Lanús v Chicago

Episode 192: Boca stay top of the league, River’s Libertadores final first leg and more

In the hundred and ninety-second episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam is joined by Andrés and Remi to look back on a week which saw Boca Juniors strengthen their position at the top of the league with a backs-to-the-wall win away to Belgrano after San Lorenzo had dropped points against Godoy Cruz. River Plate’s reserves beat Colón, but the main focus of River’s week was Wednesday night’s Copa Libertadores final first leg away to Tigres, from which they took a 0-0 draw. Other topics up for discussion are the relegation battle (which increasingly looks rather an easy one to predict the outcome of) and a large variety of listeners’ questions, ranging from Nueva Chicago’s politicised fanbase to Racing’s chances of defending their title. 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 nineteenth round predictions (last week: 6/15)
Atlético de Rafaela v Aldosivi
Estudiantes v Chicago
Argentinos v Godoy Cruz
Colón v Independiente
Central v Sarmiento
Racing v Belgrano
Boca v Unión
San Lorenzo v Gimnasia
Olimpo v Newell’s
Temperley v Vélez
Crucero v Huracán
Banfield v Arsenal
Tigre v Quilmes
San Martin v Lanús & Defensa y Justicia v River are both postponed.