Ranking the Top 10 biggest and best England Football derbies

Ranking the Top 10 biggest and best England Football derbies

Helix Odhiambo
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:57 PM

Football has plenty of thrilling games, but nothing is more exciting and adrenaline-pumping like derbies and rivalries. It is why most soccer fanatics look forward to such matches every season. So, let's find out some of the biggest Englands football derbies and rivalries that no one can miss.

the biggest and best England Football derbies
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Most derbies and rivalries create an incredible atmosphere with maximum energy that can, unfortunately, lead to violence sometimes. A significant number of England's football rivalries feature top clubs with huge fanbases. So, what is the oldest derby in English football?

England's best football derbies

Where would football be without rivalries? We have compiled a comprehensive list according to the latest publications. Enjoy our top UK football derbies ranking, including head-to-head statistics.

10. A23 derby (Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion)

Top 10 derbies in football
A fight breaks out between James McArthur of Palace and Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park on 27 September 2021. Photo: Charlotte Wilson
Source: Getty Images

The hostility between the two Premier League clubs has existed since the 1970s. It began with a series of controversial games that sparked minor feuds between the two sides. Currently, the duel ranks 10th in our list of England's biggest football derbies.


  • Played: 105 (as of February 2022)
  • Most wins: Brighton & Hove Albion (39)
  • Draws: 29

9. South Wales derby (Swansea City and Cardiff City)

Although both Swansea and Cardiff are from Wales, they have also featured in the English Premier League.

The rivalry between the teams is also considered among the toughest on English soil.


  • Played: 67 (as of February 2022)
  • Most wins: Swansea City (28)
  • Draws: 17

8. London derby (Arsenal and Chelsea)

Arsenal and Chelsea's clashes are one of the most popular globally. However, fans have witnessed few incidences of drama in the fixture, including in the 2007 Carling Cup final.


  • Played: 204 (as of February 2022)
  • Most wins: Arsenal (79)
  • Draws: 59

7. Birmingham Derby (Aston Villa and Birmingham City)

Most violent football derbies in England
Birmingham City's and Aston Villa's players scuffle after the final whistle in front of referee Mike Riley. Photo: Nigel French
Source: Getty Images

The rivalry features two of the biggest teams in Birmingham. Although Aston Villa has dominated the fixture, it has always lived up to expectations.


  • Played: 127 (as of February 2022)
  • Most wins: Aston Villa (56)
  • Draws: 33

6. Tyne-Wear derby (Newcastle United and Sunderland)

English football's biggest rivalries
Sunderland and Newcastle United fans fight during their Barclays Premier League match at the Stadium of Light on 25 October 2008 in Sunderland, England. Photo: Mike Hewitt
Source: Getty Images

Hostility between Newcastle United and Sunderland fans is believed to have begun during the English civil war. The two towns took different sides in the war, which sparked a rivalry between the locals.


  • Played: 153 (as of February 2022)
  • Most wins: Newcastle (53)
  • Draws: 50

English football's biggest rivalries - Top 5

UK football derbies
West Ham United's Alvin Martin (R) is dragged away after a fight with Millwall's Malcolm Allen. Photo: Paul Marriott
Source: Getty Images

What are England's biggest football derbies? So, let's look at other spectacular rivalries that have raised temperatures in English.

5. The Dockers derby (West Ham United and Millwall)

The derby has manifested more hatred off the pitch than on it. However, one of the most notable fixtures marked by violence was the 2009 Carling Cup match.

The Dockers derby ranks fifth in the list of UK's football derbies. It is also among the most violent football derbies in England and worldwide.


  • Played: 26 (as of February 2022)
  • Most wins: West Ham (10)
  • Draws: 11

4. Merseyside derby (Liverpool and Everton)

The Merseyside derby is one of the most anticipated duels in the English Premier League. It has always lived up to expectations, from goals to an intense atmosphere. However, Liverpool remains the most successful in the contest.


  • Played: 237 (as of February 2022)
  • Most wins: Liverpool (94)
  • Draws: 76

3. Manchester derby (Manchester United and Manchester City)

Third on our list is the most intense Manchester rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City. Although the Red Devils dominated English soccer for decades, City's recent resurgence has challenged United's strength.

What is the oldest derby in English football
Man United and Man City players fight during their English Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on 7 April 2018. Photo: Ben Stansall
Source: Getty Images


  • Played: 185 (as of February 2022)
  • Most wins: Man United (76)
  • Draws: 53

2. North London derby (Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur)

Talk of one of the most entertaining fixtures globally, the North London derby ranks second in our list of England's football derbies.


  • Played: 182 (as of February 2022)
  • Most wins: Arsenal (79)
  • Draws: 51

1. North-West derby (Manchester United and Liverpool)

Top in our list of English football's fiercest rivalries features the two most successful clubs in the Premier League. Man United and Liverpool have shared their bitter rivalry for many years. They play one of the oldest football derbies in the world. The North-West derby has also featured several football stars and best managers.


  • Played: 208 (as of February 2022)
  • Most wins: Man United (81)
  • Draws: 58

Despite the pressure and tension in these top English games, several young players still dream of participating in the fixtures. So, what is your favourite of the England football derbies listed in this article?

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Helix Odhiambo photo
Helix Odhiambo
Helix Odhiambo is an award-winning Kenyan journalist and content creator with over 6 years of experience. In 2016, he won the Goal Blaze Correspondent Award for young writers.