The second city derby...a proper derby
As far as local derbies go, the second city derby is right up there with the best. Attractive, open football isn't always a guarantee but for emotion, rivalry and sheer passion, there isn't many better.
Obviously, the Old Firm springs to mind. But that has much to do with religious beliefs as well as the two teams spending decades battling it out for titles and trophies. But it cannot be disputed that this is the most hate filled fixture in British football.
The Steel City derby is a joy to behold too. When United and Wednesday fight for the keys to Sheffield, you definitely get the impression of a proper rivalry. Ditto the Tyne-Wear offering.
On the other side of the coin is Merseyside. No. JUST NO! I'm not having that. You can't class it as a proper fierce fixture when both sets of fans sit side by side wearing half and half scarves.
Liverpool's real rival is, without a doubt, Manchester United. And United would concur. Forget about City. United spent years competing with Liverpool before Sheikh Mansour rocked into Manchester flaunting his billions.
I can't buy into plastic derbies either. Norwich v Ipswich is a second rate derby. With 45 miles between the two clubs, local bragging rights are non-existent.
The same with Palace and Brighton. A few weeks back, they played out a cup tie in front of a stadium which was two thirds empty.
Would that ever be the case with Blues v Villa, Newcastle v Sunderland or Rangers v Celtic? Absolutely no chance.
UK TOP 10 LOCAL DERBIES
1. Rangers v Celtic
2. Newcastle v Sunderland
3. Birmingham v Aston Villa
4. West Ham v Millwall
5. Sheffield Utd v Sheffield Wed
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