Ancelotti makes 8 changes, two teenagers & £27.5m ace start: Predicted Everton XI vs Fleetwood

Everton’s run in the EFL Cup continues later this evening with a third-round clash at Joey Barton’s League One outfit Fleetwood Town but will Carlo Ancelotti stick or twist with his winning team?

The Toffees won convincingly at Salford City in the last round with the Italian primarily opting for fringe players and youngsters and then at the weekend, the strongest XI thrashed West Brom 5-2 in the Premier League.

With injuries mounting in defence, he certainly has plenty to think about.

Here’s the lineup we’re predicting at Highbury Stadium tonight…

predicted everton xi vs fleetwood efl cup - Ancelotti makes 8 changes, two teenagers & £27.5m ace start: Predicted Everton XI vs Fleetwood

Ancelotti could make as many as eight changes, though there’s a couple of spots for some that started on Saturday afternoon.

Usual number one Jordan Pickford hands the reigns to young shot-stopper Joao Virginia, who signed a contract extension in midweek and he’ll be protected by the first-choice duo of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina as the only two senior centre-backs available.

19-year-old Niels Nkounkou, who was signed this window from Marseille, replaces Lucas Digne on the left with Jonjoe Kenny coming in for Seamus Coleman on the right.

In midfield, £20m summer signing Abdoulaye Doucoure could well keep his place with Tom Davies a reported target for Premier League rivals Southampton. He may partner Gylfi Sigurdsson at the base of a three-man engine room with Brazilian winger Bernard taking up the number ten role once again.

Meanwhile, on the wings, there’s another opportunity for Alex Iwobi to impress after a cameo from the bench at the weekend. He gets the nod over Theo Walcott. Young 19-year-old prospect Anthony Gordon takes up a place on the left.

Without risking injury to the in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison, Ancelotti may well opt for £27.5m-rated Moise Kean to lead the line again.

It also means there are no places for Allan or James Rodriguez, who are handed a rest before they face Crystal Palace this weekend.

AND in other news, Everton have been the real winners from £22.5m Ademola Lookman sale

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