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Ancelotti delivers squad update ahead of Southampton clash

Carlo Ancelotti, Everton
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Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has delivered a squad update ahead of the Toffees’ Premier League trip to Southampton.

Severely weakened by the absences of Richarlison, James Rodriguez, Seamus Coleman, and Mason Holgate, Everton will face a daunting prospect of maintaining an unbeaten Premier League start (W4, D1).

James Rodriguez picked up an injury and is, therefore, expected to remain on the sidelines for his team’s trip to St. Mary’s Stadium. Coleman and Holgate are both long-term absentees.

Meanwhile, Richarlison will serve a three-match ban after he was sent off for a reckless tackle on Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara during the Merseyside Derby.

With a host of first-team stars prevented from taking the field against Southampton, Ancelotti will have to reshuffle the deck.

“We have to put in other players who have the desire to play,” the Italian manager told the club’s official website.

“We are working this week on this, and I think we are going to choose a good line-up for the game against Southampton.”

One of the players who could benefit from the current injury crisis is Alex Iwobi. The former Arsenal forward found himself on the fringes of the team at the beginning of the season.

But, with Richarlison and Rodriguez ruled out, the 24-year-old will be in contention for a starting berth this weekend.

“Alex [Iwobi] is a player who works hard. He is fast, and with his quality, he can help the team be better in certain situations,” Ancelotti added.

“He [potentially] has an opportunity to play, but also we have Bernard and Anthony Gordon.

“We have a lot of opportunities to replace Richarlison and James. We are already moving on.”

Iwobi’s last Premier League start for Everton dates back to July 2020, although he has clocked up six appearances in all competitions this term.