Football is a competitive game. We measure our progress against others, in leagues and cups, and the general idea is to win. But some wins are better than others.
There’s no feeling quite like a victory in a derby match against your nearest and most-hated opponents. Sometimes it can help to win a league or cup, on other occasions it might seal your promotion or their relegation, but there’s no such thing as a meaningless derby.
These are the games that decide who laughs last and loudest in the office, classroom, shop-floor and forum. These are the games you love to win and hate to lose. They can make or break your season – longer, if you’re in different divisions.
A quick note on inclusion rules. We've stuck to club teams, deciding to deal with international rivalries in a separate feature. We haven’t chosen any team twice: no matter how many foes you despise (or how widely hated you are), you’re only allowed one mortal enemy. The vast majority of these derby rivals are geographically close – the same city or the one just up the road – but there are some exceptions (you can probably name one or two immediately). Oh, and for each fixture we've listed the teams in alphabetical order: no, we don't think they're a bigger team than you.
The list will be revealed over the course of the week, with plenty of other features to keep you going – including dozens of new uploads from our much-loved More Than A Game (opens in new tab) features, in which we get onto the terrace and under the skin of a crunch fixture. All that and more will be revealed as we go along so feel free to have your say on #FFTderbies via Twitter (opens in new tab), Facebook (opens in new tab) and Instagram (opens in new tab).
- Why derbies really matter to us – and always will
- The biggest international derbies
- Deadliest derby-day hitmen
- Maddest derby moments
- Britain's bonkers derbies
- Less Than a Game: you hate them, they don't care
More Than A Game
- AC Milan vs Internazionale (opens in new tab)
- Ajax vs Feyenoord (opens in new tab)
- Albania vs Serbia
- America vs Deportivo Cali
- Arsenal vs Tottenham
- Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad
- Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid (opens in new tab)
- Benfica vs Sporting
- Blackburn Rovers vs Burnley (opens in new tab)
- Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke (opens in new tab)
- Cardiff City vs Swansea City (opens in new tab)
- Chester City vs Wrexham (opens in new tab)
- Corinthians vs Palmeiras
- East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan (opens in new tab)
- Esteghlal vs Persepolis
- Fiorentina vs Juventus
- Genoa vs Sampdoria
- Hajduk Split vs Dinamo Zagreb
- Independiente vs Racing Club (opens in new tab)
- Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates
- Liverpool vs Manchester United
- Lyon vs Saint-Etienne
- Marseille vs PSG (opens in new tab)
- Newcastle vs Sunderland
- Olympiakos vs Panathinaikos (opens in new tab)
- Partizan Belgrade vs Red Star Belgrade
- Portsmouth vs Southampton (opens in new tab)
- Real Betis vs Sevilla
- Sheffield United vs Sheffield Wednesday
- Velez vs Zrinjski (opens in new tab)
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Gary Parkinson is a freelance writer, editor, trainer, muso, singer, actor and coach. He spent 14 years at FourFourTwo as the Global Digital Editor and continues to regularly contribute to the magazine and website, including major features on Euro 96, Subbuteo, Robert Maxwell and the inside story of Liverpool's 1990 title win. He is also a Bolton Wanderers fan.
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