Episode 172: The first round of 2015 Primera action & Argentine clubs’ Libertadores hopes

The 2015 Monster Championship has begun, and in the hundred and seventy-second episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Santi and Peter convene to look back on the first weekend of action. Champions Racing got off to a losing start, Independiente edged a five-goal thriller, whilst things were rather more pedestrian for River Plate, Boca Juniors and San Lorenzo, who all recorded routine wins. The first managerial casualty of the season has, faintly ridiculously, already occurred, with Reinaldo Merlo sacked by Colón. We also look at the Copa Libertadores and tell you exactly who will qualify from each group. Thanks again to folk at Argentina Independent – a fine English-language news site covering goings-on in Argentina and across Latin America – for providing the booze.

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Mystic Sam’s second round predictions (last week: 7/15 correct)
Atlético de Rafaela v Banfield
Huracán v Arsenal
Estudiantes v Godoy Cruz
San Martín v Gimnasia
Central v Tigre
Olimpo v Racing
Vélez v Crucero del Norte
Independiente v Sarmiento
Aldosivi v Newell’s
Chicago v Unión
River v Quilmes
Colón v Argentinos
Temperley v Boca
Lanús v Belgrano
Defensa y Justicia v San Lorenzo

Episode 170: ¡Racing campeón! and a report from Morocco on San Lorenzo’s Club World Cup semi-final

The hundred and seventieth episode of Hand Of Pod is our last of 2014, and we leave on an unexpected note: Racing Club managed not to racinguear on Sunday, and are the new champions of Argentina. Sam and Andrés, River Plate fans, are for once outnumbered by Racing fans; English Dan, Ilan and the prodigal son of Hand Of Pod, Seba García. We discuss Racing’s fine end-of-championship form to lift the trophy, and where the side go from here. We also have a special appearance from Marrakesh by San Lorenzo fan Mariano, who’s travelled to watch his team at the Club World Cup; what did he make of the semi-final extra time win over Auckland City, and what does he expect for Saturday’s final against Real Madrid? You’ll have to listen to find out. The 2015 Primera fixture list has already been released, too, and we discuss that and look back on a memorable 2014 for Argentine football, which has seen Argentine clubs win both South American club cups, a highly entertaining championship all round during the second half of the year, and the small matter of the national side reaching the World Cup final. Good luck to San Lorenzo on Saturday, and may 2015 be every bit as memorable. Merry Christmas (or happy celebration of your choice) to our listeners, and we’ll be back in the new year!

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