Football rivalries: The biggest and best in England

Todays Tales

English football has a long history of rivalries between clubs who are simply unable to get along amicably with each other.

Many of these are based purely on geography, while others have developed as a result of teams battling each other for trophies.

Fans across the country often argue that their particular rivalry is the biggest and the best, although it’s fair to say these views tend to be fairly subjective.

Read on as we look at some of the most heated football rivalries in England.

Manchester United v Liverpool

The rivalry between United and Liverpool goes far beyond the boundaries of football.

Situated at opposite ends of the East Lancashire Road, these two sporting behemoths have been competing culturally and in industry for over 100 years.

Factor in 20 league titles for United and 18 for Liverpool and it is inevitable that matches between the two are often viewed as the most important of the season.

Punters will see that United are lagging behind Liverpool in the odds to win the 2019/20 Premier League, but that won’t diminish the ferocity of the rivalry when they next meet.

Blackburn Rovers v Burnley

Former United star Mark Hughes knows a thing or two about football rivalries.

Having played in derby matches in Manchester, Merseyside, London, Spain and more, he was once asked how the Rovers versus Burnley game compared.

“Good God,” he replied. “That one’s mad.” He wasn’t wrong. Fans of these two founder members of the Football League despise each other.

Blackburn’s 35-year dominance over Burnley certainly didn’t help matters, although the Clarets finally snapped that streak in 2014 and have since established themselves in the Premier League.

Newcastle United v Sunderland

Two divisions separate these two old rivals right now, although Sunderland have the chance to close the gap to one if they can win the League One Play-Off Final.

However, there have been plenty of examples of the two sides crossing swords with each other over the past few years, and this is comfortably one of the biggest UK footballing rivalries.

Geordies will never forget the 5-1 demolition job in 2010 as goals by Kevin Nolan (3) and Shola Ameobi (2) sent Sunderland home with their tail between their legs.

However, the Black Cats got their revenge when a 1-1 draw at St. James’ Park in 2016 boosted their survival hopes and contributed to sending Newcastle down at the end of the season.

Aston Villa vs Birmingham City

Much like the Blackburn versus Burnley rivalry, this is a spat that is fuelled by animosity between the two sets of fans.

However, as highlighted by Dion Dublin’s headbutt on Robbie Savage back in 2003, the feud has often spilled over onto the pitch.

Fast forward to the present day and emotions still run high when Birmingham and Villa games come around.

This season’s game at St Andrew’s saw Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish attacked on the pitch by a fan.