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Wednesday Hoddle of Coffee, Soccer News and Links, March 1, 2017

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Let’s get ready for Everton this weekend.

Everton v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Apologies for missing yesterday’s Hoddle. Had a sick four-year-old at home and wasn’t able to do internet things at all Monday evening. (She seems to be getting better, so we’re thankful for that.)

So this weekend is setting up to be a big one for us: We’re facing the third best opponent still left on the schedule for us in the league in Everton. The Toffees kicked us around pretty good in the season opener and they’re in fantastic form right now. Plus they have Romelu Lukaku. (Here’s hoping Jan and Toby are both fit this weekend.)

That said, the positive spin on this is pretty straightforward: We picked up three points last weekend during a round that guarantees one of the Manchester clubs dropping points and in which Arsenal has a tough Southampton to take on, and in which Liverpool dropped three points against Leicester.

This weekend, Chelsea and the Manchester clubs will likely take the full three points, but Arsenal and Liverpool are playing each other, so one of them will drop points. (I’d prefer a draw in that fixture, personally.) If we can get a win this weekend, we’re guaranteed to not lose ground on any of our rivals and will for sure gain ground on Arsenal or Liverpool. There’s a long way to go, but I’m cautiously hopeful about our top four chances this season.

Links:

Dumb Crystal Palace fans vandalize their own bus.

Newcastle fans really love former Spurs right back DeAndre Yedlin:

The Football Pink ran an interesting feature on Iceland’s football pitch that is inside a volcano.

These Football Times have a good review of Sunday’s very odd Atletico-Barcelona clash.

Jermain Defoe has become a fan favorite at the Stadium of Light.