Football wouldn’t be half as fun without rivalries.
It would be pretty dull if everyone got on. You need some hostility to spice things up.
English football has some brilliant rivalries. Manchester United v Liverpool and Arsenal v Tottenham are just two of the unmissable fixtures in the Premier League every season.
But don’t forget about the fierce rivalries that exist outside of the top flight.
The Championship, League One and League Two also have teams and fans that really don’t get on.
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A study called ‘The League of Love And Hate’ has been carried out, with tens of thousands of football fans responding, to find out the biggest rivals of England’s top clubs.
Twitter user Chris Whiting has published the findings on Twitter and it shows the top five rivals of (most of) English football’s 92 league clubs.
Let’s start with the Premier League (the data is available for 18 of the clubs, with Chelsea and Watford missing).
Man Utd’s top rivals are Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Leeds and Arsenal. Looks about right.
Liverpool’s are United, Chelsea, City, Everton and then Arsenal.
Notice how Liverpool fans only rate Everton as their fourth rivals. Everton fans, on the other hand, have Liverpool as their No. 1 rivals.
Elsewhere, Arsenal have Stoke as their fourth rivals, which isn’t unexpected given the bad blood between the two clubs over the past 10 years.
And Palace and Brighton supporters list each other as their main rivals.
But it is rather surprising that City have Liverpool as their No. 1 rivals over United in second.
As for the Championship, Leeds fans still rate Man Utd and Chelsea as their two biggest rivals, despite the fact they haven’t been in the top flight since 2004.
Millwall fans see West Ham as their main rivals followed by Crystal Palace, Charlton, Chelsea and Leyton Orient.
In League One, Bolton fans rate Man Utd as their main rivals, which may come as a surprise to the Red Devils.
No surprises that Sunderland fans rate Newcastle as their main rivals and the same applies for Blackpool supporters with Preston.
And in League Two, Oldham Athletic rank Man Utd as their biggest rivals – which again, will probably surprise everyone over at Old Trafford, while Salford City barely have a rivalry with anyone.