Big Merseyside “derby” at Anfield


Friday, December 1 – 1939
The old Merseyside football “Derby” day spirit will be recaptured tomorrow when Liverpool and Everton meet at Anfield in their first competitive fixture of the season. This will be a Western Regional match which should produce a grand struggle. Already – at Anfield. Whereas Liverpool won the “Jubilee” game by two goals to one, Everton avenged the defeat in convincing manner a few weeks later by winning a friendly game 4-1.

What of the “rubber” match? On the face of things it looks good for Liverpool, who, one again, will walk on to the field favourites. The reason is that Liverpool have been able to secure the release of seven of their Army players and so are back to their best available strength, while Everton will be without Gillick – still recovering in hospital from the burns received in his garage fire – and Mercer, Lawton and Greenhalgh all of whom will be playing for England against Scotland at Newcastle.

Upsetting the odds.
Yet Everton seem to take an impish delight in upsetting the odds whenever they face Liverpool. They put up a great show in the last game when “from” indicated a runaway win for the Reds, and they have in their deputies players of real ability and honesty of purpose. Latest news is that Stan Bentham will be fit enough to play. This will add punch to the attack.

Apart from the defence, Riley, Cooper, and Tennant, Liverpool will have out the precise team which opened the season against Sheffield United at Bramall-lane. Everton have one player at least who may set up an impassable barrier to this all-First Division Red raiding line. This is Tommy Jones, the Welsh international centre half. Jones is a brilliant pivot, and his duel with the clever Liverpool inside forwards should prove one of the outstanding features of an intriguing game. Maybe we shall miss the odd 50,000 crowd, but the football should be of the real pre-war vintage.

Liverpool: Riley; Cooper, Tennant; Busby, Bush, McInnes; Nieuwenhuys, Taylor; Fagan, Balmer, Van Den Berg.
Everton: Sagar; Jackson, Saunders; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Davies, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes.
(Liverpool Daily Post, 01-12-1939)

Tom Bush, Liverpool F.C.
tom-bush-liverpool

First in war-time
Liverpool and Everton Liverpool and Everton meet tomorrow at Anfield in competitive football for the first time since the war began. They had a previous meeting – a friendly fixture – which Everton won comfortably when everything pointed to a Liverpool success, but that will hardly go down in the record books as to-morrow’s result will.

If the match had been played a week ago, Everton would have been firm favourites. Liverpool had to readjust their side at the last minute, owing to the Army players being absent, but now, with the prospects of a full team, Liverpool undoubtedly seem the more likely to win. That is as good as reason as any for their losing remembering their contrary methods. But whichever way the match goes, there will be a ready public to see the old-time rivalry continued.

Everton are undoubtedly handicapped in that Joe Mercer and Norman Greenhalgh will be playing for England at Newcastle, and there will be others who will be missing. Nevertheless, the Everton reserves strength has always been a feature, and if the well-known “names” do not appear one can depend on it the substitutes will be little less effective.

Liverpool’s war-time record is co consistent that they must be considered favourites, but Everton will be keen to repeat a previous success this season.

Liverpool: Arthur Riley, Tommy Cooper, Jack Tennant, Matt Busby, Tom Bush, Jimmy McInnes, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Phil Taylor; Willie Fagan, Jack Balmer, Herman Van den Berg.

Everton: Ted Sagar, George Jackson, George Saunders, Maurice Lindley, Tommy Jones, Gordon Watson, Davies, Stan Bentham, Robert Bell, Alex Stevenson, Wally Boyes.
(Liverpool Echo, 01-12-1939)

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