Sunday saw the two biggest rivalries of the Premier League in action when Arsenal faced Tottenham Hotspur in the Emirates before Liverpool host Everton in Anfield. Meanwhile, Chelsea started a day with a lunch meeting with the neighbors of western London Fulham at its first meeting in 2014.
Is the local derby of the biggest races in the Premier League, or are there bigger, most intense matches in the first flight of England? ESPN FC is the biggest rivalry in English football, using three components – history, current importance and unpredictability – on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 = barely registers, 5 = over the roof).
A true urban rivalry shared by families. Less than one mile apart from Anfield and Goodison Park on either side of Stanley Park, but the so-called "friendly derby" of the 1980s is now bitter and hostile, while Evertons claim that the "National Club" is unlike Liverpool's more global fanbase.
History: Everton was the most powerful and successful club in the city until the 1960s, but Liverpool's later rise under Bill Shankly turned tide to their advantage. Opposition peaked in the eighties when two clubs fought for the championship title and FA Cups but Everton's silver droppings date back to 1995 and are now firmly in the shadow of Liverpool. Rating: 4/5
Current Importance: This game was the biggest in English football in the late 1980s, when both dominated the main honors, but this is nothing more than a battle for local pride. This is Everton's biggest game this season, but Liverpool now looks to City, United and Chelsea for their great games. Rating: 1/5
unpredictable: Everton has not won Liverpool in Anfield since 1999, and their home record against Rovers is also incredible. Liverpool does not conquer them all, but does not lose many and has become one-sided rivalry in recent years. Rating: 2/5
Overall rating: 8/15
6. Tottenham vs Arsenal
The neighbors of northern London and the traditionally London two to the emergence of Chelsea under Roman Abramovich. The local rivalry between Spurs and Arsenal dates back to 1913, when Arsenal left his native home in Woolwich, south of the River Thames, to move to the Spurs area in the north of the city.
History: Arsenal has always been considered a club in London, but Spurs has been linked with glamorous and pure football principles, becoming the first team in the 20th century to win the FA Cup and the FA Cup 1961. Arsenal emulated this success 10 years later, but the arrival of Wenger in 1996 changed the story, while the Gunners managed to combine the style of success while Spurs fought to continue. Rating: 3/5
Current Importance: A great game in London, but without any team considered authentic title contestants, does not resemble so much across the country or globally. Local rivalry is intense between Spurs and Arsenal, but this is not a game that makes a trace in the title race. Rating: 2/5
unpredictable: Spurs have defeated Arsenal home only two times since the Premier League in 1992 but their record at White Hart Lane and Wembley is more respectable, especially in the last few seasons. Arsenal is no longer the dominant force of Wenger, so this game has become too close to calling. Rating: 4/5
Overall rating: 9/15
Chelsea v Liverpool
The rivalry that followed in the mid-2000s, when Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez clashed in the final of the cup and seismic semifinals of the Champions League. For some time, Chelsea and Liverpool have become the worst rivalry in English football.
History: Liverpool fans still laugh at Chelsea because of the lack of "history", but the London club has enjoyed more than a decade of success since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003 and the 2012 Champions League crown glory. Chelsea's ascent as the force in the game is mirrored Liverpool's fall and although Anfield outfits are now a resurgent force, Chelsea's recent silver flight is far greater than Liverpool. Rating: 3/5
Current Importance: The hostility of Mourinho-Benitez's years has fallen, and the games of the two clubs have no importance in these times, but it is usually something at stake for at least one of the teams when they meet. Rating: 3/5
unpredictable: No team dominates this player, and both clubs have impressive records against each other. When it comes to predicting a winner, it is often best to look at the form guide and go with the team that fights for the result. Rating: 4/5
Overall rating: 10/15
4. Arsenal vs. Manchester United
North vs. South, London vs Manchester, the most successful club in the capital city against the largest club in England. It has always been one of the biggest games in English football, but has become the biggest of all these for almost decades when Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were at the peak during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
History: Only Arsenal can approach the United and Liverpool in terms of long-term success, and their rivalry with the United Season extends back to the 1950s. Ferguson-Wenger's time took him to new heights, however, without any other club that won the title between 1996 and 2004. Rivalry and hostility went on and off the field with Ferguson and Wenger who verbally clashed as often as Roy Keane, Patrick Vieir, Martin Keown and Ruud van Nistelrooy went head-to-head. Rating: 4/5
Current Importance: Things just are not what they used to be. Since the game was nearly ten years old, United against Arsenal is no longer a battle for the title, but is likely to decide which club has ended in the top four. Both have been alarmed by the fact that their top-of-the-year and United-Arsenal games are just a sad reminder of how many have fallen. Rating: 2/5
unpredictable: The arrival of Unai Emery to the Emirate has breathed new life into Arsenal after Wenger's departure in the summer to revert back to the battle against the United, who dominated this match because the height of their rivals fell in the mid-2000s. With both teams still looking for their identity, everything can happen when they meet. Rating: 4/5
Overall rating: 10/15
3. Manchester City v Manchester United
Rivalry stretches from the 1890s, and the city has been the dominant force in the city before the Second World War, and the United Nations has been in power and success in the second half of the 20th century. The fall of the city in the 1990s was reflected in the rise of United, but Blues is now back to top after 10 years of ownership over Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan.
History: The United States have long considered their neighbors – written as the "weird neighbors" of Sir Alex Ferguson – as weak relations on and off the ground. City's drop in the third pillar of English football in the 1990s made them almost unimportant United, who considered Liverpool, Arsenal and Leeds as their rivals. But the city's revival over the past decade has once again conquered rivalry at levels that had not been witnessed since the 1960s, when the two clubs were fighting for the last time. Rating: 3/5
Current Importance: At one stage during this decade, City vs United became the biggest game in England and one of the largest in the world, as two clubs fought for the Premier League title. Rivalry was at its peak between 2011 and 2013, when every encounter was crucial to the outcome of the title race. United's recent defeat left the City with more direct rivals over the last five years, but this game always has importance. Rating: 4/5
unpredictable: The city failed to beat United for 13 years during the dark days of the 1990's and 2000's but are now top dogs in Manchester and have won the last two visits to Old Trafford. United fought 2-0 to 3-2 in Etihad last season, so this derby is usually impossible to predict. Rating: 4/5
Overall rating: 11/15
2. Liverpool vs Manchester City
This game is all about here and now. This is Liverpool's history and tradition against the new wealth and unsound ambition of the city. This is also about Jurgen Klopp against Pep Guardiola and Mohamed Salah against Kevin De Bruyne. It's great names and scintillating football all the way, with an increasing element of hostility between the two clubs.
History: He is not one of the classic rivals in English football, with both clubs traditionally directing their energy to Manchester United. City and Liverpool were shortly rivals during the 1960s, as long as today's battle for supremacy begins recently as 2013-14, when sneaking Steven Gerrard against Chelsea helped City give way to the title race. Liverpool's honorary place lists the dwarves of City – a point often offered by Liverpool fans when they meet the two sides. Rating: 2/5
Current Importance: This has become the most anticipated game in English football, especially in the last 18 months, due to Liverpool's ability to undergo City's skin. Two clubs clashed in the Champions League last season, and Liverpool came out on top, and Jurgen Klopp men also spent the last defeat of the town in the first league. No other moment is anymore important for the title race of Liverpool against City. Rating: 5/5
unpredictable: Liverpool had the advantage of recent meetings and perhaps the only team in the Premier League was afraid of Pep Guardiola, but the City's Firepower ensured that they could not be charged as paratroopers when they meet the two sides. Rating: 5/5
Total rating: 12/15
1. Liverpool vs. Manchester United
To some distance, they are the two most successful and best-kept English football clubs. When it comes to global influence, this match is there with Barcelona against Real Madrid, Boca Juniors vs River Plate and Celtic vs Rangers. Rivalry goes further than football; two cities, just 35 miles away, have been competing in industry and culture for over a century.
History: With 38 league titles among them (United 20, Liverpool 18) and eight titles of the European Cup / Champions League (United Three, Liverpool five), this is a super-power conflict when these two matches. Liverpool dominated for 20 years in the 1970s and 1980s, United took over Sir Alex Ferguson during the 1990s and 2000s. Such a rival that no player has moved between clubs since 1964. Rating: 5/5
Current Importance: Liverpool vs United is always a huge opportunity, but it is difficult to claim to be considered the most important match of the season. United's recent downfall has seen them break out of the Premier League clash in the Premier League since their last success in 2013, while Liverpool's champion since 1990.
Liverpool now enjoys re-appearing, but when it comes to the most important league game this season, it is the one against Manchester City and not United. Rating: 3/5
Unpredictable factor: The two competed 200 times in the competitive action, and United won 80 and Liverpool 65. When one club at the top, it rarely dictates the outcome of the encounter, though with unpredictability it goes straight through the middle of the rivalry. Rating: 5/5
Overall rating: 13/15