Episode 290: the relegation race is settled, but is the title race back on … again?

The two hundred and ninetieth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam joined by Peter and Andrés to look back on a weekend of Superliga action in which the remaining three relegation spots were all decided, and the title race one last breath of life given to it thanks to Godoy Cruz’s sixth consecutive win and Boca Juniors’ second consecutive defeat. River Plate’s efficient form continues, and we look at why Vélez Sarsfield have become so much harder to beat under Gabriel Heinze, even though they’re still winning barely any matches.

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Mystic Sam was beaten 8-5 by Mystic WaywardfromHayward last week. This week, he takes on Mystic Liam.

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

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

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Episode 284: A weekend of shocks, and a new Argentina squad

The two hundred and eighty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés discuss a weekend of Superliga action which was full of surprise results: from Arsenal de Sarandí winning a game against, well, anybody on Friday evening, to Argentinos Juniors playing Boca Juniors off the park and claiming a 2-0 victory over the league leaders on Monday night. One shock result that didn’t happen was a win for River Plate, who have a potentially huge couple of games coming up. Racing, meanwhile, might be paying Jorge Sampaoli to come and watch them these days … and speaking of Sampaoli, we have some thoughts on his latest Argentina squad.

You can follow HOP in various ways. We have a Facebook page, for example, and we’re on Twitter as well. You can subscribe on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn.

Last week, Mystic Sam won the prediction battle against Mystic Paul 5-3. This week, Mystic Liam steps up to the plate.

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

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

Episode 279: Boca pull clear, River in crisis and Unión keep up the good form

Episode 279 of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés meet to discuss the opening weekend of football in Argentina in 2018, which included a Talleres win over San Lorenzo, giving Boca Juniors the chance to open a six-point gap at the top of the Superliga table – a chance the champions took in beating Colón. River Plate lost away to Huracán and, more worryingly, showed no signs of having adapted their gameplan over the summer break. Unión continue their fine form of 2017, and are now third, while Gabriel Heinze’s spell at Vélez Sarsfield got off to a good start with a 1-0 away win over Defensa y Justicia. Newell’s Old Boys almost suffered the indignity of dropping points to Arsenal de Sarandí, but were bailed out at the last minute.

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Last week, Mystic Simon beat Mystic Sam 7-5 in the prediction battle. This week, Sam’s all on his own. Here are his picks for this weekend’s games.

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

Episode 214: San Lorenzo and River still can’t defend, and are Boca back on track?

Episode 214 of Hand Of Pod is short but sweet, as Sam and Andrés take you through the last week in Argentine football. There are some entertaining matches to discuss, with San Lorenzo’s 3-2 win over Vélez Sarsfield and River Plate’s 3-3 draw away to Rosario Central the highlights – though Boca Juniors’ 4-1 win at home to Newell’s Old Boys is also a topic of conversation, and Colón’s unbeaten start to the campaign came spectacularly undone with a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Godoy Cruz in Mendoza. The clásico de Avellaneda was a desperately dull match until the last few minutes, so we don’t waste too much time talking about it. The Copa Libertadores group stage has begun, but until we’ve seen another few matches it’s a little early to comment on that yet.

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Mystic Roberto’s predictions (last week Liam Harrison got 5/14)
Newell’s v Unión
Banfield v Godoy Cruz
Estudiantes v Argentinos
Sarmiento v Quilmes
Defensa y Justicia v Aldosivi
Huracán v San Lorenzo
Patronato v Belgrano
Colón v Central
Atlético Tucumán v Atlético de Rafaela
Olimpo v Arsenal
Racing v Boca
San Martín v Lanús
Vélez v Gimnasia
Temperley v Tigre
River v Independiente

Episode 213: Boca, Newell’s and Vélez find their feet as others stumble

Episode 213 of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and English Dan look back on two rounds of fixtures during which Boca Juniors almost lost a manager but ultimately kept him, and found their first win of the new year thanks to a goal from Carlos Tevez. As well as Boca, Newell’s Old Boys and Vélez Sarsfield also both look rather better now than they did a couple of weeks ago, which makes Boca v Newell’s a particularly interesting fixture this weekend. Newell’s revival came in the form of a 5-0 tonking of Racing days after being played off the pitch by Central in the clásico rosarino, and Central are one of four clubs who’ve recorded three wins out of three (Aldosivi have a chance to do the same, but haven’t done yet because Huracán’s last two matches were postponed). This episode is later in the week than normal, but join us again next week, when we’ll be back to our normal schedule.

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Mystic Liam Harrison’s round 4 predictions (last week Liam Kelly got 4/14 for round 2)
Arsenal v Sarmiento
Atlético de Rafaela v Temperley
Belgrano v Banfield
Boca v Newell’s
Aldosivi v Estudiantes
Independiente v Racing
Tigre v DyJ
Godoy Cruz v Colón
Lanús v Atlético Tucumán
Quilmes v Patronato
Central v River
San Lorenzo v Vélez
Unión v San Martín
Gimnasia v Olimpo
Argentinos v Huracan

Episode 199: Boca go top with a superclásico win, and are away fans about to return to Argentina?

The hundred and ninety-ninth episode of Hand Of Pod is a post-clásico-round edition, with Sam and Andrés looking back over a weekend which saw Boca Juniors beat River Plate in the Monumental to go top of the league after San Lorenzo had surprisingly lost their derby away to Huracán. Independiente turned in the only really impressive clásico performance, beating Racing 3-0, whilst a lot of the other derbies were rather damp squibs. There’s discusssion of Newell’s Old Boys’ and Vélez Sarsfield’s disappointing current situations, and a rather dampened down plan for the return of away fans to Argentine stadia this coming weekend, with only one Primera match to see visiting supporters after all. 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-fifth round predictions (last week: 6/15)
Sarmiento v Defensa y Justicia
Vélez Sarsfield v Estudiantes
Gimnasia v Tigre
Godoy Cruz v Central
Independiente v Chicago
Newell’s v San Martín
Aldosivi v Huracán
Arsenal v Olimpo
Banfield v Crucero del Norte
Argentinos v Boca
River v Lanús
San Lorenzo v Racing
Unión v Temperley
Belgrano v Atlético de Rafaela
Quilmes v Colón

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