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These are the best London derbies

These are the best London derbies

The most exciting matches in the English football capital

London is without a doubt the football capital of England. With thirteen professional teams at the four highest levels, the number of derbies is higher than in any other city. But what London derbies are the most special? Find out in this blog!

North London derby
North West London derbies
The Dockers derby
East London derby
South London derby
West London derbies
Tottenham Hotspur – West Ham

London Football Clubs

North London derby

Arsenal – Tottenham Hotspur

When Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur play, the whole of North London is on edge. The rivalry between the two clubs has existed since Arsenal moved to Highbury in 1913. Because of the many matches between them, the tension has risen higher and higher. Fans of both teams hate each other and even more players who switch to the enemy, as Sol Campbell did in 2001.

Arsenal and Tottenham have played each other 203 times. The Gunners have achieved the best results with 83 victories. 54 times the North London derby ended in a draw. The Spurs won 66 times.

North West London derbies

Chelsea – Arsenal

Football rivalry is not only found within certain parts of London, but also between different parts. Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium is in North West London and the Blues’ players and fans are not welcomed with open arms when they travel to Arsenal. The animosity between Chelsea and Arsenal has grown in recent years due to the rise of Chelsea since the 1990s.

Chelsea and Arsenal have played against each other 204 times. Arsenal won the match the most often (79 times). In 59 matches both teams shared the points. Chelsea won 66 times.

North West London Derby

Chelsea – Tottenham Hotspur

The Tottenham supporters are not exactly friends with the Chelsea supporters either. From the first meeting between the teams in 1909, the games have been played on edge. When The Spurs and The Blues play each other, the stadiums are packed. In these matches, both the players on the pitch and the spectators in the stands are always hungry for a victory.

Tottenham Hotspur – Chelsea was played 170 times, of which Chelsea won 74 times and Tottenham 54 times. The 42 other games ended in a draw.

The Dockers derby

Millwall – West Ham United

Millwall and West Ham United have one of the longest and most intense London derbies in English football. Don’t tell the supporters of these clubs that football is just a game. For them, football is a matter of life and death. You must fight for your own club. It all comes to the surface in The Dockers derby, which got its name because both clubs were founded by dockers. A real and unique football rivalry!

The Dockers derby has been played 99 times. Millwall won it most often; 38 wins compared to West Ham United’s 34 wins. 27 matches ended in a draw.

Millwall Team
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East London derby

West Ham, Leyton Orient, Dagenham & Redbridge

In the East of London there is no derby between two clubs, as usual, but a rivalry between three teams. This area is the territory of West Ham United, Leyton Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge and all matches between these three are considered an East London derby. However, they occur sporadically, as the teams often play at a different level.

West Ham is part of the Premier League and therefore did not play an East London derby for a long time. Leyton Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge meet more often, the last time being in 2019.

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South London derby

Crystal Palace is too big for South London

Crystal Palace are the highest playing club in south London and lost sight of their rivals in the South London derbies, Charlton Athletic and Millwall. These teams play at lower levels; Charlton in the League One and Millwall in the Championship.

Crystal Palace has been playing in the Premier League since 2014 and is more concerned with the rivalries with bigger clubs from London, such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. Those matches are well worth a visit, also because Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace’s stadium, offers an authentic English football experience.

Image source: ChristalPalace, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

West London derbies

Chelsea versus the rest

Chelsea doesn’t only have enemies in North London (Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur), but also closer to home in West London. Both Fulham and Queens Park Rangers see Chelsea as their biggest rival. The Blues’ fans have paid little attention to this in recent years. Because of their club’s successes, they focus on the teams with whom they compete for the Premier League title. But when there are cup matches between Chelsea and Fulham or Chelsea and QPR, those are absolute must-sees.

The records also show that Chelsea is on another level than their neighbors in West London. Chelsea played 84 games against Fulham, winning 49 times, drawing 26 times and losing nine times.

Chelsea – QPR were scheduled 55 times. The Blues won 22 times. Eighteen times they drew and QPR won fifteen times.

Fulham – Queens Park Rangers

Fulham and Queens Park Rangers were already rivals when Chelsea did not exist yet. The neighbors faced each other for the first time back in 1892. Unlike Chelsea – which is bigger and more successful – Fulham and QPR are similar clubs in size and history. That makes the tension in this West London derby all the greater. This season, both clubs are playing in the Championship, so if you want to experience a game in that league, you know which one to visit. Forty times Fulham and QPR have faced each other. Fulham were the most successful with nineteen wins. Seven times it was a draw. QPR celebrated a win fourteen times.

Fulham – Brentford

Fulham and Brentford don’t like to be mentioned in the same breath, but they do share a rivalry and a special history. In the 1980s and 1990s, supporters from both clubs developed a rivalry, which led to many clashes on and off the pitch. In 2020, that rivalry came to a cooking point as Fulham beat Brentford in the final of the play-offs for promotion to the Premier League. Nothing better than winning at the expense of your rival!


Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Ham

The football rivalry between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United is not born out of a shared location or historical matches. The tension stems from hooliganism in 1980s English football. Supporters of both clubs often met outside the stadiums and transferred the rivalry to the players, taking the matches to another level. Fortunately, there is no longer much violence, but the exciting matches have remained. Great to experience!

Tottenham and West Ham played each other 157 times. The Spurs won more often; 67 times. The Hammers 52 won times. The points were shared 38 times.

Image source: Egghead06, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the London derbies

London offers plenty exciting derbies, classics, historic matches and fights between top clubs. Via P1 Travel you can experience the glory of the Premier League at Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur or West Ham United. Or go for the authentic English football experience in the Championship at Fulham, Millwall or Queens Park Rangers. We are your guide to the world of football in London!

Read also our blog about football clubs in London.


Have you always wanted to visit a London derby? View our overview of football matches, filter on London as a city and see all football matches in London.

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