The new football season is already well underway, and across several of Europe’s biggest leagues, many eagerly anticipated derby fixtures are quickly looming into view.
As well as the passion and drama that derby matches provide, it’s often a time where many sports betting sites run special promotions and features that can offer bettors across Canada tremendous value.
Rivalry matches can help define a team’s season and there is nothing more than football fans like than being able to claim bragging rights.
In this article, we will provide a quick guide to five of the most fearsome European rivalry games that you can look forward to watching this season.
Manchester United vs Liverpool
Represented by two of Northern England’s most famous cities, Manchester United and Liverpool first competed against each other back in 1894.
Since then, the two clubs have become some of the most successful clubs in the world. The rivalry has intensified in recent seasons due to Manchester United recently winning their twentieth top flight title, overtaking Liverpool’s previous record haul of 19.
Tottenham vs Arsenal
London’s most prestigious derby match is between Tottenham and Arsenal. Originally Arsenal were located in the southern part of London but moved to the north in 1913. Invading Tottenham’s turf, the first North London took part later that year and the battle has been ferocious ever since.
In recent times, the two clubs have been closely linked in the table and the games between the sides have become some of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures in the Premier League.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid
The matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid are known as the El Clásico. First competed back in 1902, the rivalry started due to the two Spanish cities containing vastly different political views.
Over the years, the two teams have become European giants and are regularly competing for the game’s biggest prizes. It’s rare that players go onto represent both teams, but iconic players such as Jose Enrique, Ronaldo and Luis Figo have gone onto famously wear the jerseys of both clubs.
Celtic vs Rangers
One of the most famous derby games in all of Europe is between Celtic and Rangers.
Known as the ‘Old Firm Derby’, the first game between these two Scottish titans took place in 1888 and this derby is now recognized as one of the oldest football matches in the world.
The rivalry is based on religious grounds, with Catholic followers opting to support Celtic whilst their Protestant counterparts traditionally cheer on Rangers. With the rivalry now having grown to tumultuous levels, the Old Firm is one of Britain’s most watched games all over the world.
Inter Milan vs AC Milan
One of Italy’s most prized games is when Inter and AC Milan lock horns.
A fixture that is steeped in both passion and history, Milan’s original club was AC who were first formed back in 1899.
The landscape of Italian football would change forever, when in 1907, the Italian Football Federation changed the rules as to how many foreign players could represent a team.
AC, who were comprised of players from many different nations, dropped out of the league in protest, but some members of the team grew frustrated at a lack of action and decided to form a breakaway team – Inter Milan.
The first recorded match between the sides took place in 1909 which AC went onto win 3-2.
In the decades that have followed, both teams have redefined the landscape of Italian football and have grown into two of Europe’s most glamorous clubs.