English football is known for having supporters who are fanatical about their football clubs. Whenever they travel across Europe to watch their sides, they do so in huge numbers.
Here is a look at three of the biggest rivalries in English football and why they are games which aren’t to be missed.
Aston Villa and Birmingham
Birmingham is one of the biggest cities in England and it has two successful football clubs in Aston Villa and Birmingham. This is a fierce derby with intimidating atmospheres at both grounds when the two sides play.
The Birmingham Derby has been contested since 1879 and since then there have been 127 meetings between the two clubs. The two grounds are separated by just 3.9kms so friends and families are often torn with the rivalry.
Aston Villa are currently in the top-flight in England, however, they have English Premier League relegation odds of 1/3. If they are relegated at the end of the campaign, they would most likely face Birmingham once again next season in the Championship.
Manchester United and Liverpool
Manchester United and Liverpool are the two most successful clubs in the history of English football. The location of the two cities in the North West ensures supporters have a strong dislike for each other. United have won 20 league championships in England, with a lot of their success coming in the Premier League era.
Liverpool are on course for their 19th title this season as they are clear at the top of the table and long odds-on in the betting for the championship. Their bragging rights mainly came in the 70s and 80s, particularly in Europe where they won the European Cup four times during the two decades. They also won the Champions League in 2019, beating fellow Premier League side Tottenham in the final.
Games between these two clubs continue to have extra spice about them as supporters are always desperate to get one over the rivals. It is Liverpool who have had the better of recent fixtures as they have lost just one of their 10 fixtures against their rivals.
Millwall and West Ham
No fixture in England causes the police a bigger headache than Millwall against West Ham. Every time the two sides meet, there is trouble on the streets around East or South London.
The two clubs both originated in East London which is where their rivalry stems from. Millwall now play south of the capital, however, this Derby remains as fierce as ever.
The relationship between Millwall and West Ham fans has often been depicted in films, including Green Street. In 2009, the two teams met in the EFL Cup where there were riots around Upton Park stadium.
West Ham are currently one league above Millwall in England. The Hammers have work to do if they are to remain the Premier League this season though. Millwall, on the other hand, have an outside chance of promotion to the top-flight.
The atmosphere at all three of the above matches is always special. Whether you are watching on TV or lucky enough to be at the stadium, you will feel the intensity that both sides' supporters generate.