Five UK football derbies sports fans must visit
In the United Kingdom, sport is part of the culture. From horse racing to rugby, cricket to boxing, residents to the island love sport in all shapes and sizes. The most popular, and by quite some distance, is football. If you ever wondered why they call it the beautiful game, then a visit to Britain will bring you right up to speed.
Supporting football clubs isn’t a hobby or a passion; it’s a way of life. Thousands descend on famous football arenas every weekend, including Old Trafford, Anfield, Etihad Stadium, Ibrox Park and Celtic Park. Millions more choose to follow the English Premier League and Scottish Premiership live on television, watching the build-up, setting out their prop strategies, then cheering on their favourites.
UK football isn’t just for UK fans. The best-loved teams enjoy a global fanbase, including supporters of Manchester United in Asia and Rangers in the United States. The lucky ones plan a sports-themed vacation to experience the special atmosphere of attending a match in person and, if the schedule is kind, they even get to witness one of the top derby matches.
The rivalry, passion, and excitement. It’s all there and crammed into 90 minutes as the teams do battle on the pitch below.
Below are five UK football derbies worth a visit this season.
We start with the biggest of them all – the Old Firm Derby in Glasgow. Rangers and Celtic rivalry in world football when clashing in Glasgow. The great thing about this match is the teams often play each other four times a season in the Scottish Premiership and could face again in the Scottish Cup or League Cup. That means there are plenty of chances to snag yourself a ticket. Not the most skilful derby, but the most passionate.
Manchester United and Manchester City have served up some classic encounters over the years, and they’re not done yet. United enjoyed dominance over their neighbours for many years, but that all changed when City was taken over and began splashing the cash. Today, matches involving United and City are true 50/50 contests. When the two Manchester teams meet, you won’t see the same passion in the crowd as you’ll find in Glasgow, but the standard of player on the pitch is night and day. Some of the top names in the game play with the red of United or the light blue of City.
Liverpool and Everton, the two great rivals that do battle on the banks of the River Mersey. Visit Anfield or Goodison Park for this match, and there’s every chance you will be treated to a few goals. Merseyside Derbies are often fast, frantic games with plenty of talking points and some real heat in the crowd. These matches look stunning on television but watching from your sofa doesn’t compare to visiting in person and enjoying the unique atmosphere or being part of the crowd.
Arsenal and Tottenham make up this famous London derby, and the tide has shifted in recent seasons. Arsenal enjoyed much success over Spurs during the Arsene Wenger years when they were pushing for the top four places and Champions League football. All that has changed now Spurs have found form in recent campaigns. This is a derby that is notoriously difficult to call pre-match. Both teams have huge stadiums, the Emirates and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, so you will have half a chance of landing a ticket for the North London Derby if you plan well ahead.
It may play second fiddle to the Old Firm Derby in Scotland, but for those attending the Edinburgh Derby between Hearts and Hibs, this game means everything. The Jambos and the Hibees don’t win the league too often and haven’t enjoyed much cup success, meaning fans must concentrate on finishing higher in the league than their rivals from across the city. Take in this derby match, and you can spend time in the historic old town of Edinburgh post-match. For football fans, the game is exciting, and if you are a lover of architecture and history, you’ll spend hours wandering around Auld Reekie as a tourist.,