5 Biggest Premier League Rivalries

min read
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, left, challenges for the ball with Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold.
AP Photo/Dave Thompson
Laura Paterson @ Sep 22, 2022, 3:37 AM
  • Manchester United and Liverpool are part of a few rivalries.
  • Most rivalries are between two clubs in close proximity to each other.
  • Man City vs. Liverpool is the most modern fierce rivalry in the EPL.

Arguably the best soccer league in the world, the Premier League has a number of fierce rivalries. Proximity, competition, and some historical economic tension are what have sparked them.

Any avid Premier League betting fan should know the big games to look out for. These battles usually bring drama, aggression, and more than a few red cards to the pitch. The fierceness of these rivalries often makes the soccer odds unpredictable; players with unbridled passion are the most likely to cause an upset.

5 Biggest Premier League Rivalries

5. The Merseyside Derby: Liverpool vs. Everton

Less than a mile separates Anfield and Goodison Park, but this bitter and hostile derby truly divides locals. Although it was dubbed the “friendly-derby” in the 1980s, it has certainly escalated from that point.

Everton was the most successful club in the city until Liverpool’s resurgence in the 1960s under Bill Shankly. The two clubs fought for EPL titles and FA Cups for many years, but Everton hasn’t won anything since 1995.

At the moment, Liverpool is the superior team, and the EPL betting odds reflect that. However, that hasn’t taken any of the rancor out of this rivalry, with Everton claiming to be a “People’s Club,” calling out Liverpool’s global reach compared to their local fan base.

4. North London Derby: Arsenal vs. Tottenham

Arsenal’s home was originally south of the River Thames in Woolwich, but in 1913, the Gunners moved to the north of the city, into Spurs territory. While Tottenham has always been the superior club of the two London rivals, the arrival of Arsene Wenger in 1996 flipped the narrative on its head. 

The Gunners won three League titles and three FA Cups between 1996 and 2004. 

Both teams have dropped out of the title race in the last few years, but that hasn’t dimmed the aggression on the pitch when these two teams go head-to-head.

3. Manchester Derby: Manchester United vs. Manchester City

Manchester City was the dominant force before the Second World War, but United started to grow in strength and success in the latter part of the 20th century. 

City’s form declined sharply in the 1990s, and they went so far as being dropped into the third tier of English soccer. They were inconsequential to United, who referred to them as “noisy neighbors.”

Enter Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan’s ownership in 2008 and the money he afforded the club, which changed the course of City’s success. City has undoubtedly knocked United down a peg, meaning these games have a renewed sense of bitterness.

2. Liverpool vs. Manchester City

This is a modern rivalry. 

It is a rivalry born out of competition between Liverpool’s history and tradition and City’s new wealth and unbridled ambition. There are many different narratives to this new rivalry. 

There’s Pep Guardiola vs. Jurgen Klopp, Mo Salah vs. Kevin de Bruyne, Virgil van Dijk vs. Ruben Dias, and much more.

These two clubs have been at the pinnacle of the modern game for the last couple of seasons, and while this doesn’t have the historical flavor that many other rivalries do, it’s the fight for the here and now. 

Liverpool’s honors list might dwarf that of City’s, but that just fuels the ambition of the Manchester club to close the gap.

1. North West Derby: Liverpool vs. Manchester United

The Liverpool and Manchester United rivalry tops this list.

They are the Premier League’s most successful and most globally supported clubs by some distance. It has all the makings of the perfect rivalry: close proximity (just 35 miles separate the two), fierce competition for titles, and economic history that extends far beyond the pitch.

It all started 200 years ago when the Merchants of Manchester built a canal to bypass the steep tax at Liverpool’s ports. They’ve been at economic loggerheads ever since, and this has undoubtedly transformed the atmosphere in these head-to-head games.

It’s the biggest rivalry in the Premier League, and the genuine dislike between the two clubs is demonstrated by the fact that no player has transferred directly between the two since 1964.

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About the Author

Laura Paterson

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Laura is a dedicated in-house writer for The Media Image. An avid sports fan and field hockey player, she gets her fix through writing on a variety of sports for BetMGM.

Laura is a dedicated in-house writer for The Media Image. An avid sports fan and field hockey player, she gets her fix through writing on a variety of sports for BetMGM.