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

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Episode 202: Boca close in on the title and Argentina gear up for World Cup qualifying

The two hundred and second episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Andrés convene to discuss a weekend of football which saw Boca Juniors open up an imposing six point lead at the top of the table with just three matches remaining. Following San Lorenzo and Rosario Central’s 2-2 draw, Boca struggled a bit but still beat Crucero del Norte 1-0, as a result of which Crucero, to no-one’s surprise, are relegated. Still clinging on to their Primera status – for now – are Nueva Chicago, who grabbed a 2-1 win over Vélez Sarsfield. River Plate put in an awful performance and were well beaten, 3-0 by Independiente, and Quilmes’ good form continued. This weekend the Primera takes a break for the first double-header of CONMEBOL’s marathon World Cup qualifying campaign, which will see a Lionel Messi-less Argentina host Ecuador on Thursday and travel to Paraguay on Tuesday. 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 World Cup Qualifying predictions (last week in the league: 7/15)
Argentina 3-0 Ecuador
Paraguay 1-2 Argentina

Episode 200: Tevez makes headlines as Boca stay top, Martino’s first WCQ Argentina squad and more

Hand Of Pod is 200 episodes old, and this week Sam is joined by Peter and Andrés for a champagne celebration in a bumper episode. We look back over a weekend of Primera action which saw Carlos Tevez make more bad headlines (for breaking an opponent’s leg) than good (for scoring twice) during Boca Juniors’ 3-1 win over Argentinos Juniors which saw them remain top of the table. There were a few belting goals as well, and there’s praise for the fine form of Independiente, Quilmes and others. We examine the run-ins of the title candidates – of whom we’ve decided there are three, with both leaders Boca and current second-placed San Lorenzo still yet to play third-placed Rosario Central, and also look at Gerardo Martino’s first World Cup qualifying Argentina squad, which among more predictable calls includes Paulo Dybala’s first call-up and Gonzalo Higuaín’s exclusion. All this and plenty of listeners’ questions! Thanks for your support over our first 200 episodes, and here’s to plenty more… 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-sixth round predictions (last week: 9/15)
Olimpo v Godoy Cruz
Atlético de Rafaela v Unión
Colón v Belgrano
Racing v Argentinos
Crucero del Norte v River
Tigre v San Lorenzo
Chicago v Aldosivi
Boca v Banfield
Defensa y Justicia v Quilmes
Central v Gimnasia
Lanús v Independiente
Huracán v Vélez
San Martín v Sarmiento
Temperley v Arsenal
Estudiantes v Newell’s

Episode 54: Refereeing controversy, an Avellaneda revival and Tigre’s enduring hope

The fifty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod takes in quite a lot. We begin with Colón’s highly controversial equaliser against San Lorenzo at the weekend, a goal which will see referee Diego Abal miss at least a couple of rounds of the Torneo Clausura. After getting some of the weekend Primera scores mixed up, we then take in the revival in the fortunes of both Avellaneda sides in the last two weeks, Tigre’s climb out of the automatic relegation places for the first time this season, and discuss whether Estudiantes are finally back, and whether Racing at last have a high enough arsehole quotient in their squad. As well as all this we ask whether Atlético Rafaela and Godoy Cruz are losing it, run a fine-toothed comb over hot European transfer targets Paulo Dybala and Matías Suárez, and discuss why everyone suddenly seems to want Argentine second division players anyway. There’s even time for Seba to insult us, when we were only trying to help him with his English.

As ever, Mystic Dan’s predictions are below, and you can click here if you’d like to subscribe to us on iTunes (go on, please…).

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