Episode 271: Lanús qualify for their first Libertadores final, and previewing River v Boca

In episode 271 of Hand Of Pod, Sam and English Dan have an afternoon conversation about two big continental ties: the all-Argentine Copa Libertadores semi-final which saw Lanús come back from 3-0 down on aggregate to beat River Plate 4-3 and advance to the first Libertadores final in the club’s history, and Racing’s Copa Sudamericana exit at the hands of Paraguayan giants Libertad, which it’s fair to say was somewhat less thrilling. Independiente should keep the Argentine flag flying (their Copa Sudamericana quarter-final second leg was going to plan as this episode was uploaded), and Boca Juniors extended their lead in the Superliga, winning as River and Lanús (who both fielded reserve sides) both lost; they’re now six points clear of second-placed San Lorenzo, ahead of this weekend’s visit to River Plate, which we of course preview.

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Last week, Mystic Sam beat Mystic Gav 7-4 in the predict-off. This week, no-one volunteered and Sam forgot to tweet a challenge out, so here are Mystic Sam’s eighth round predictions on their own.

Chacarita v Gimnasia
Godoy Cruz v Huracán
Colón v San Martín
Lanús v Olimpo
San Lorenzo v Banfield
Central v Atl. Tucumán
Racing v Talleres
Temperley v Defensa y Justicia
Estudiantes v Argentinos
Belgrano v Independiente
River v Boca
Arsenal v Tigre
Patronato v Newell’s
Vélez v Unión


Episode 216: Reviewing the superclásico and an awful lot of goals elsewhere

The two hundred and sixteenth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Andrés and Fede look back on a rather underwhelming superclásico which nonetheless gave us plenty to talk about – largely because we’ve now seen Guillermo Barros Schelotto in charge of Boca Juniors for a week (they play away to Bolívar in the altitude of La Paz in the Copa Libertadores tonight). If River v Boca was one of the lowlights of the weekend, though, there was plenty of entertainment elsewhere: previously winless Tigre hitting five past hitherto impressive Atlético Tucumán; nine goals in a crazy match in Santa Fe between Unión and Racing; Defensa y Justicia winning 5-1 away to Argentinos Juniors and many more goals besides. All this and more in just an hour and a quarter. Enjoy!

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Mystic Harry’s seventh round predictions (last week Mystic Chris got 5/15)
Racing v Lanús
Newell’s v Atlético de Rafaela
Olimpo v Belgrano
DyJ v Huracán
Banfield v Independiente
San Martín v Tigre
San Lorenzo v Arsenal
Temperley v Argentinos
Patronato v Central
Estudiantes v Gimnasia
Atlético Tucumán v Aldosivi
Colón v River
Sarmiento v Godoy Cruz
Boca v Unión
Vélez v Quilmes

Episode 182: Previewing three superclásicos and catching up on other bits and pieces

In the hundred and eight-first episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Andrés and Joel are joined by new boy – and Boca Juniors fan – Julian in an exciting week in Buenos Aires, as we gear up to watch three clashes between River Plate and Boca Juniors in just eleven days; two in the Copa Libertadores last 16, and first of all one in the league this Sunday. We discuss how both sides have come to be sitting joint first after ten matches, how recent superclásicos have gone and what we expect in the upcoming clashes – as well as why the choice of referees, especially for Sunday’s encounter, has caused such a big fuss. Prior to that, we have a round-up of the other recent action in Argentina, including a Copa Argentina catch-up and a look at the other sides in the Copa Libertadores knockout stages, because apparently there are some. 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 eleventh round predictions (round ten: 6/15)
Godoy Cruz v Sarmiento
Olimpo v Estudiantes
Argentinos v Aldosivi
Gimnasia v Newell’s
San Lorenzo v Vélez
Racing v Lanús
Central v Huracán
Atlético de Rafaela v Defensa y Justicia
Banfield v Independiente
Tigre v Chicago
Boca v River
Unión v Belgrano
Arsenal v Quilmes
Crucero v Colón
Temperley v San Martín

Episode 167: Between superclásicos, a failed gamble by River, Racing go top and more

The hundred and sixty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod is the first to fall neatly between two superclásicos, and Sam is joined by Andrés, Gustavo and Asli (and her canine companion Vinicius) to look back on last Thursday night’s disappointingly dull 0-0 in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana semi-final, and forward to this Thursday’s return leg between River Plate and Boca Juniors. At the weekend, River took a gamble with their team selection against Racing in the league, and it backfired – Racing snatched a 1-0 win to go top of the table with two games remaining. There were surprising wins away from home for Godoy Cruz and Arsenal de Sarandí, some promotions to next year’s top flight have been clinched, and there was a barra brava turf battle in the cafeteria of River’s stadium. We also give you the clearest idea we possibly can of what the 2015 Primera División is going to look like, because that seems to have been confirmed now (though further developments would surprise none of us).

As ever, Mystic Sam’s previews for this weekend’s matches are below. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s eighteenth round predictions
DyJ v Vélez
Gimnasia v Quilmes
San Lorenzo v Estudiantes
Independiente v Newell’s
Tigre v Atlético de Rafaela
River v Banfield
Lanús v Boca
Central v Racing
Godoy Cruz v Olimpo
Arsenal v Belgrano

Episode 160: A very wet superclásico, Lanús keep the pressure on & Tigre’s revival continues

The hundred and sixtieth episode of Hand Of Pod is a chance for Sam, Andrés and Peter to review Sunday’s superclásico, in which River Plate and Boca Juniors played out a 1-1 draw in an extremely wet Estadio Monumental. A poor refereeing performance, a farcical pitch and, above all, an awful lot of rain were on the agenda for Sam (who was lucky enough to be there), whilst the others enjoyed it from the warmer and drier surroundings of their sofas. Elsewhere, Tigre made it three league wins out of three under Gustavo Alfaro, Lanús kept the pressure on River at the top of the table by beating Rosario Central, and Independiente’s good run continued with a highly entertaining 2-2 draw away to Godoy Cruz. All this and some typically interesting listeners’ questions are right here. Enjoy!

As ever, Mystic Sam’s previews for this weekend’s matches are below. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s eleventh round predictions
Tigre v Gimnasia
Lanús v Godoy Cruz
Vélez v Olimpo
Belgrano v Quilmes
Estudiantes v Racing
Atlético de Rafaela v Banfield
Independiente v Defensa y Justicia
Boca v Central
Newell’s v River
Arsenal v San Lorenzo

Episode 159: The October 2014 Superclásico preview

In the hundred and fifty-ninth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam is joined by Andrés, Gustavo and Joel to preview this Sunday’s clash between River Plate and Boca Juniors in the Monumental. We give an overview of the history of the fixture (and who better to guide us through it than Joel, who wrote the book on the rivalry?), and bring things up to date with a look at how both sides’ campaigns have gone so far. A look at last weekend in the Torneo de Transición follows, with Newell’s Old Boys’ unbeaten record brought to an end by Banfield, and Racing starting to look competent again (give it a week…). The superclásico on Sunday will be live to the world for free on YouTube via Fútbol Para Todos’ channel – this is the only preview you need for it.

As ever, Mystic Sam’s previews for this weekend’s matches are below. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s tenth round predictions
Gimnasia v Vélez
Banfield v Belgrano
San Lorenzo v Tigre
Defensa y Justicia v Arsenal
Quilmes v Newell’s
Olimpo v Estudiantes
River v Boca
Racing v Atlético de Rafaela
Central v Lanús
Godoy Cruz v Independiente

Episode 121: Reviewing the superclásico, previewing Argentina’s final WCQs & more

The hundred-and-twenty-first episode of Hand Of Pod sees Andrés welcome Sam and Mariano to his living room for the first time, as we look back on Boca Juniors’ 1-0 win away to River Plate in Sunday’s superclásico. That was far from the only talking point of the weekend; we had wrongly-given red cards for diving, two managers left their jobs, another two seem to be on the brink, and Racing, of course, are as awful as ever. We consider what value an injury-ravaged Argentina side can take from their final two World Cup qualifiers, given that their place in Brazil next year is already secure, and discuss Mauro Icardi’s impending debut for the national side among other things.

As usual, Mystic Sam’s predictions for this weekend (for there are domestic matches in Argentina on Saturday, Sunday and Monday) are just below. If you subscribe to us on iTunes, we’ll love you forever.

Mystic Sam’s round 11 predictions
All Boys v Colón
Rafaela v Argentinos
Belgrano v Quilmes
Arsenal v San Lorenzo
Vélez v Olimpo
Estudiantes v Racing
Boca v Central
Newell’s v River
Tigre v Gimnasia
Lanús v Godoy Cruz