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The 10 best London derbies


Laaaaaandan. The City of London. Londinium. The big smoke. Das Capital. Home of the liberal metropolitan elite, home of Danny Dyer and (let’s face it) where most of the news comes from.

But more importantly, London also has many football teams. 12 professional teams from England’s top four levels are based inside the U25 and are often forced to compete against each other.

Whenever the new season’s game schedule is released, one of the first things fans do is check out the London derbies.

The London Stadium ...
One of the stadiums where football takes place in London | Chris Gorman / Getty Images

These are some of the most exciting, fiery and combative events on the football calendar, with games often bringing in goals, tough tackles and more controversy than this new Elizabeth line, eh? (London reference).

Because nobody asked, here are the best derbies in London classroom.

Matthew Etherington, Alton Thelwell
The two teams even play friendly matches against each other | Clive Rose / Getty Images

The East London Derby is often overlooked as Leyton Orient and West Ham United barely play out.

The two teams haven’t faced each other in a competitive game since 1987, when the Hammers won the FA Cup third round.

While there is still animosity about the entire London stadium, it’s one of those rivalries that hardly matters anymore, and that’s why it’s last on our list.

Wilfried Zaha
One of the South London derbies | Charlie Crowhurst / Getty Images

The “South London” derby is technically played whenever two from Charlton, Crystal Palace, Millwall and Wimbledon meet.

However, while the others have larger or geographically closer rivals, Charlton and Palace are Probably the biggest game sarf from the river.

Palace defeated the Addicks in the 1996 playoffs and won 34 wins against Charlton’s 19 in 68 games overall.

Alan Pardew, Chris Powell and Jonny Williams are among the former players to cross this not particularly significant gap.

Ramires, Danny Murphy
Chelsea and Fulham are local neighbors | Scott Heavey / Getty Images

Chelsea and Fulham meet a bit more frequently than previous rivals, but since Fulham’s fall in the Championship in 2013, the intensity of this derby has waned.

Many Blues fans will tell you that they’ve moved on to bigger and better things, while even a handful of Cottagers will admit not being particularly bothered by this one anymore.

The battle for bragging rights still exists, but the flame is about to go out.

Aboubakar Kamara, Ethan Pinnock
Fulham kept Brentford in the championship in 2019/20 | Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

In the 1980s and 1990s, the West London derby between Brentford and Fulham was pretty intense. You might regularly find clashes both on the pitch and in the stands.

Things started to calm down during Fulham’s top-flight run, but the end of the 2019/20 season will undoubtedly have restarted things.

Fulham and Brentford faced off in the Championship playoff final, in which the Cottagers clinched a spectacular 2-1 victory to leave their rivals stuck in second place.

Rico Henry, Bright Osayi-samuel
This rivalry dates back 50 years | Henry Browne / Getty Images

There is a real story behind Brentford’s rivalry with the Queens Park Rangers. In 1967, Brentford almost ceased to exist as QPR chairman Jim Gregory planned to buy the club, take their stadium and wipe them off the face of the planet.

Honestly, Brentford fans were angrier with their own club than anyone, but this incident has spawned a rivalry that still produces entertaining business whenever the two sides meet.

Nemanja Matic, Victor Wanyama
The Battle of the Bridge Was Notoriously Courageous | Catherine Ivill – AMA / Getty Images

The fact that Chelsea’s rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur is only fifth on this list says a lot about what’s to come.

Tottenham’s rise to one of England’s elites under Mauricio Pochettino sparked increased hatred for Chelsea, whose position as London’s most successful team at the time was under threat.

The “battle of the bridge” in 2016, in which yellow cards were thrown everywhere (and around 1000 reds should have been distributed), is a perfect example of the animosity between these two camps, and the transfer of José Mourinho to Spurs was not the case. t helped cool things off.

Ricardo Vaz Te, Eric Dier
This is one of the biggest games in West Ham | Jamie McDonald / Getty Images

Unlike most of the derbies on this list, the rivalry between Tottenham and West Ham doesn’t come from closeness.

However, that did not stop the two sides from developing a bitter feud, with hooliganism and violence making headlines in the 1980s.

These days, West Ham fans have become frustrated with Spurs’ perceived arrogance and they treat every encounter with their rivals like a cup final – something Spurs try to laugh at but also to conform to.

Fernando Torres, Abou Diaby
Both sides want to be the best in London | Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

For Chelsea fans, there is nothing more important than beating Arsenal. Even if a season goes disastrously, it can be saved with a positive result against the Gunners.

Arsenal definitely play their part in the show of this one. After being the best in London for years, they handed the crown to Chelsea in the mid-2000s and have been fighting to reclaim it ever since.

These two teams see themselves as the biggest club in London. Arsenal have the whole story and Chelsea have the most recent success, but there can only be one winner.

Junior Stanislas, Ali Fuseini
This montage is notoriously brutal | Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

The Dockers derby is the epitome of a rivalry. He probably deserves the top spot on this list, but the only problem is that the two sides are barely playing each other these days.

Perhaps it’s a good thing that West Ham and Millwall have been separated in recent years, as the clashes between the two are about as intense as they come. On the pitch, the players would be fighting for superiority, but that’s nothing compared to the tension in the stands – there was a real riot in 2009.

From a soccer perspective, the vibe is unlike anything the English game has to offer. If this was a regular event, there would be nothing left of the city.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Abou Diaby
North London derby is the best | Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

the best of the best of the London derbies, the North London showdown between Arsenal and Tottenham is always one of the most exciting affairs of any season.

Arsenal’s move to Highbury in 1913 gave these two sides geographic reason to despise each other, and the rest is history. Superiority means everything to both teams, and that’s why the games are always so exciting.

Results have gone both ways in recent years, so it’s almost impossible to predict how this one will turn out. You have to look to find out, and it rarely disappoints.

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