May 7, 1943
I shall be surprised if the Liverpool v Manchester United cup-tie does not prove one of the best games of the whole campaign. My reason for this expectation is that Liverpool will field practically their strongest side, and an already formidable United will have the aid of two of Manchester City’s outstanding players – Eastwood and Robinson. Well, Eastwood plays if the United’s own Vose cannot get away.
Tomorrow represents Liverpool’s big chance and I do urge them not only to make sure of winning but of establishing a margin of goals which will enable them to withstand the United fight-back at Maine-road the following week. Any slips tomorrow and ground advantage next week may land the cup – and it is football’s most valuable cup from an intrinsic point of view – in Manchester.
With lads like Fagan, Balmer and Nieuwenhuys returning to the Reds’ attack with the youngsters Done and Hulligan and with Rist once again at centre-half the Anfielders fear no side at home. Liverpool’s natural progressive style, in which they consider attack first and defence second, is just the type of game needed to win cup-ties. The only danger is that Liverpool may attack just too much.
This wold mean loopholes in defence, and should there be any, Jack Rowley, goal-getting United leader ably prompted by Morris and Pearson, will get goals. Rowley is one of the most dangerous leaders in the game and I advise Rist to stick to him throughout and leave Kaye and Pilling to do the building-up work.
The United have proved one of Lancashire’s most successful clubs this season, and while I do not think they will be capable of beating the Reds tomorrow they will prove worthy opposition in a game which should pack all the thrills imaginable for Anfield’s finale. The kick-off is at three o’clock.
Liverpool (from): Alf Hobson, Jack Westby, Harry Mather, Harry Kaye, Frank Rist, Jack Pilling, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Jack Balmer, Jack Campbell, Willie Fagan, Cyril Done, Michael Hulligan.
Manchester United (from): Jack Robinson, Jack Griffiths, William Roughton, Jack Warner, George Vose, Eric Eastwood, Bert Whalley, William Bryant, Johnny Morris, Jack Rowley, Stan Pearson, Alf Bellis.
(Evening Express: May 7, 1943)