Carlo Ancelotti preferred a 4-4-2 formation during his first season as Everton manager.

The arrival of a brand-new midfield has prompted a change to a 4-3-3 this season, with James Rodriguez and Richarlison either side of on-fire Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

That three-pronged frontline has been key to Everton’s flying start to the campaign, but Ancelotti will be missing two-thirds of it against Southampton on Sunday.

Richarlison is suspended after his straight red card in the Merseyside derby, while Rodriguez is sidelined with a knock.

With two wingers to replace, what does Ancelotti do? We’ve run the rule over his three best options at St Mary’s.

Everton v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
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Alex Iwobi

Having come off the bench in Everton’s four most recent league matches, Iwobi will expect to take up one of the wide roles on the south coast.

He is capable of playing on both sides, bringing diligent pressing, a sprinkling of flair and incisive passing.

With the front three playing so well, injury and suspension were always likely to be Iwobi’s best chance of getting back in.

Now he has a golden chance to showcase what he can do, and belatedly get his Everton career off the ground following his arrival from Arsenal in 2019.

Everton Training Session
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Anthony Gordon

The Times reported in September that teenager Gordon had been in to see Ancelotti, asking why he hasn’t been involved much in Everton’s start to the season.

With that in mind, the Italian may decided to hand the academy graduate the chance to shine this weekend.

He hasn’t played a Premier League minute in 2020/21 thus far, but was given plenty of gametime at the end of last season, which is a sign of how much Ancelotti rates him.

One of Everton’s own stepping up in the absence of their South American stars? It should sound pretty good to the fans.

Everton Training Session
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The Brazilian is the most experienced option here, and played on the left of midfield under Marco Silva.

He has played in a more central role in the EFL Cup under Ancelotti this season, which may mean he isn’t deployed out wide this weekend.

Bernard is a tidy player, capable of weighing in with a goal and it is an intriguing choice between youth and experience where Gordon and Bernard are concerned.

Hopefully, Gordon gets the nod, but Bernard is selected, his cup displays this season indicate he wouldn’t let Ancelotti down.

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