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For the moment, Marco Silva will be on the touchline when his Everton side visit Anfield to face Premier League leaders Liverpool in this season's first installment of the Merseyside Derby.
However, this could very well be the embattled manager's Everton swan song as he tries to keep their winless rut against the rival Reds from reaching 20 consecutive matches in all competitions on Wednesday night.
For many on the blue side of Mersey and throughout the Premier League, it's somewhat surprising that Silva is still guiding Everton (4-2-8). The Toffees are mired in a 2-1-7 stretch and 17th in the table, one spot and two points out of the relegation zone.
Looking to avoid a third straight loss after falling 2-0 at home to Norwich City on Nov. 23 and 2-1 at upstart Leicester City via a 94th-minute goal last weekend, reports suggest Silva's job appears safe - at least through the derby.
Whilst Silva trudges on knowing that Wednesday might could be his last in charge of the Toffees, he has not stopped applying positive energy to the dressing room. And, believing they can do what would seem like the unthinkable at Anfield.
"The players know what my ambition is every day - the feedback they receive from me is to win every match," Silva told evertontv. "That has to be our philosophy as a football club. We know the players should be brave, and we are brave ... They have to put their heads up."
That's all well and good to say, but Everton face a Herculean task against their biggest rival during the mid-week.
Liverpool (13-1-0) enter this matchday with an eight-point lead over second-place Leicester, and are 37-10-0 at home in the Premier League dating to a 2-1 loss at Anfield to Crystal Palace on April 23, 2017.The Reds are also 9-10-0 against Everton over all competitions since a 2-0 loss at Goodison Park on Oct. 17, 2010. The Toffees' most recent victory at Anfield came on Sept. 27, 1999.
Liverpool ran their Premier League winning streak to five games with a 2-1 home victory over Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend. Virgil van Dijk scored twice on headers off balls from Trent Alexander-Arnold within the first 24 minutes of the match.
"Result-wise, it is an incredible period for sure," manager Jurgen Klopp told Liverpool's official website about the team's hot start. "But, we don't want to think about the last 14 games - we actually are concerned about the next one, which is on Wednesday against Everton, and is a big one.
"We have to make sure we are prepared for that because it will be another big fight."
Sadio Mane has a team-high eight league goals for Liverpool and three over nine such matches against Everton, though none have come over his last four games in the series.
Everton's Richarlison has recorded half of his four goals in two of the last three league matches. He has none in four career Premier League contests versus Liverpool.
Updated December 2, 2019