The English Premier League hold’s the world’s attention as one of the most exciting professional soccer leagues for a reason. They have some of the biggest names in the sport, whether they’re players or coaches. The fast-paced, physical nature of the English game also lends itself well to the neutral fan who wants to see exciting action.
The biggest thing that makes this league one of the most entertaining professional sports leagues to watch is passion. The players, clubs, and fans are invested in what happens on the pitch, and emotions are usually high during controversial results.
There is always a supply of exciting fixtures in the Premier League. Still, the intensity and physicality of the games increase whenever derbies are involved.
English fans call rivalries between two competing soccer teams derbies. Clubs involved in derbies are usually located close to each other. They also have a history of incredibly competitive matches that are usually embroiled in controversy.
This OKBet Sports piece will discuss some of the most famous Premier League rivalries. We’ll look into their history, the current state of their rivalry, and where their competition will end up moving forward.
We’ll start the list with one of the friendliest Premier League rivalries in Liverpool and Everton. These two clubs are based in Liverpool, and the city will immediately be split into a mix of red and blue whenever Derby Day comes.
What makes this derby unique is how integrated their rivalry is into the city’s culture. While families across other cities in England support one side, it’s common for Scousers (Liverpool locals) to support the Reds and have their sibling, spouse, or parent support the Toffees.
It’s not strange to see Liverpool and Everton’s fans sitting together during matches. It’s also normal to see red cards fly out of referees’ pockets during these games. While Liverpool won more over the years than their neighbors, the Toffees always play brilliant football when facing the Reds.
Make no mistake about this: the Merseyside Derby is one of the most intense and physical Premier League rivalries you can watch.
If you’re looking for Premier League rivalries with more vitriol and passion, head toward London and catch the North London Derby.
There is genuine hatred between fans and players of the two sides. While most derbies in Europe require police protection, the level of intensity in the North London derby increases two-fold.
The rivalry between the two clubs didn’t begin until Arsenal moved from South of the Thames River to the north, just four miles from Tottenham’s ground of White Hart Lane. The two clubs have since been embroiled in a bitter rivalry to claim the title of London’s best.
The rivalry amped up to eleven when Sol Campbell, a key defender and Tottenham’s former captain, moved to the Gunners on a free transfer. Spurs fans saw his move as treason, but Campbell was a key man in Arsenal’s invincible season.
The derby remains heated as both teams constantly compete for the top. Mikel Arteta is currently leading Arsenal in an unbelievable championship push. At the same time, the momentum Antonio Conte had when he first entered Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the head coach is slowing down.
If you need assurances that the hatred between the two sides is still alive, you can ask Aaron Ramsdale about it.
If you look at the historical head-to-head between these two clubs, you’ll see that Liverpool is the overwhelming favorite. After all, Manchester City’s dominant hold over the Premier League began in the early 2010s.
During this time, the script was turned on its head. The world-class players that City’s Arab owners bought helped the team soar above Liverpool and narrow the Merseyside club’s head-to-head advantage.
Manchester City’s dominance continued upward when they got Pep Guardiola to manage the side. Liverpool seemed destined for mediocrity until they acquired the services of one Jurgen Klopp.
While the Manchester City-Liverpool derby is one of the newest Premier League rivalries, it’s already produced plenty of exciting moments. The tactical brilliance displayed by the two sides is outstanding. The players Guardiola and Klopp brought in are also outstanding footballers in their own right.
The other thing that makes this rivalry great is the relationship between the two coaches. Guardiola and Klopp have competed against each other since their days in the Bundesliga, and they have plenty of respect for each other. Their class permeates through to the players, making for very entertaining matches.
Speaking of clubs who improved after being bought by rich owners, Chelsea enjoyed a surge in form when former owner Roman Abramovich bought the club. With players like Didier Drogba, Claude Makelele, and Eden Hazard, the Blues became an important club in European football.
Their rivalry with Manchester United began when the club brought Jose Mourinho from FC Porto. If Klopp and Guardiola had mutual respect, Mourinho had a combative stance. He was more than happy to clash with managers, especially with Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson.
The two shared interesting moments when the Special One was still in Portugal. Hence, fans expected fireworks when the two finally met on English soil. Chelsea won their first game against the Red Devils under Mourinho. A series of intensely competitive football matches followed as the two tacticians looked to one-up the other.
The rivalry continued even after Mourinho left London for Inter Milan. Chelsea continued its strong runs in the Premier League, butting heads with Man United along the way.
The Manchester Derby is the pick among Premier League rivalries to watch if you’re looking for the best English football. Both sides have prestige, outstanding players, and financial resources to get those players into their side.
The Manchester Derby was always one of the more competitive derbies in the Premier League. Both sides have similar win numbers in the 166 matches they played. However, City has been the more relevant club over the past decade.
City found sustained success under Pep’s leadership from the sidelines. Meanwhile, United saw a revolving door of managers coming in and out of the club to bring it back to the level they once enjoyed after Ferguson retired.
However, United finally found their man. Erik ten Hag turned around a horrible start for United and now has the squad playing entertaining football. The Manchester Derby’s latest iteration wasn’t short of controversy. Still, it showcased entertaining football from two talented and well-supported sides.
The crown may still be with the Citizens, but the Red Devils will be looking to snatch the titles of Kings of Manchester back.
These are the most popular Premier League rivalries at the moment. These fixtures always have a special place in fans’ calendars, and the players understand the gravity of a positive result in these fixtures.
If you’re looking for exciting soccer matches to watch, you won’t go wrong with any of the fixtures above. There’s always something in the air whenever these clubs play each other, so you can expect unforgettable highlights.
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