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Everton at Southampton: Projected XI | Depth Test

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Who will Carlo Ancelotti place his trust in to replace some of his missing star players?

Everton v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Peter Byrne - Pool/Getty Images

With the whines of the Reds still possibly ringing in your ears, you may have missed that Everton didn’t come through the Derby completely unscathed.

And the Blues face another tough test his weekend as they face a tricky Southampton side at St Mary’s.

The Saints may not boast big names or even a great deal of ferocious talent, but Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side are one of the most intense teams in the league on their day and boast their own prolific (particularly against Everton) striker in Danny Ings.

So, how will Everton line-up now that Carlo Ancelotti is forced away from his preferred XI?

Who’s Out?

The obvious miss will be Richarlison, who begins the first of his three-game suspension after his reckless tackle at the end of the Derby.

But, possibly even more worrisome, Don Carlo revealed that the star himself, James Rodriguez, is expected to sit this one out, following a hefty challenge from – ahem – Virgil van Dijk, early on last weekend. The Colombian maestro managed to play through the pain barrier at Goodison, but he’s a big doubt for this trip.

Seamus Coleman also pulled him hamstring again against Liverpool and so looks set to be out for the next few weeks – although Jonjoe Kenny made a timely return to training this week and therefore could replace him.

Other than that, the Blues will be without long-term absentees Mason Holgate, Cenk Tosun and Jean-Philippe Gbamin.

Tactics and Formation

Even with a change in personnel, it would be very surprising to see Carlo change away from the efficient 4-3-3 setup that the Blues have deployed so far this season.

The big changes will come on the wings, with Richarlison and James Rodriguez likely to be replaced by two from Bernard, Alex Iwobi and Anthony Gordon.

Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)

Jordan Pickford – 10/10

Jonjoe Kenny – 6/10

Returned to training this week but remains to be seen whether he’s deemed fit enough to make his first Premier League appearance since March 2019. If not, Ben Godfrey could perform a makeshift right-back role once again.

[Update from Carlo Ancelotti's presser is that Kenny is out, Godfrey is in]

Lucas Digne – 10/10

Michael Keane – 10/10

Yerry Mina - 9/10

Allan – 10/10

Abdoulaye Doucoure – 10/10

Gylfi Sigurdsson - 6/10

Andre Gomes struggled against Liverpool, so Gylfi could well come in to replace him here.

Bernard – 7/10

Would personally prefer to Anthony Gordon start here, but Bernard seems to be higher in the pecking order right now and will be favourite to start on the left wing.

Alex Iwobi – 8/10

Big chance for Iwobi here, who has looked a lot sharper this season. The most likely contender to replace James Rodriguez on the right wing.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 10/10

Bench

Robin Olsen – New goalkeeper was on the bench versus Liverpool, but Carlo has been known to rotate sub keepers, so could also be Jonas Lössl.

Niels Nkounkou

Ben Godfrey – Unless he is preferred to Jonjoe Kenny at right back.

Tom Davies – Also possible to see Fabian Delph, but Davies performed well against Brighton.

Andre Gomes

Anthony Gordon – Could be key if Everton find themselves down in the second half, as he’ll likely be the only real attacking option we can bring on from the bench.

Fabian Delph