The Ultimate Guide to London Derbies

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The Ultimate Guide to London Derbies

The Beautiful Game is full of long-standing, bitter rivalries. The matches between rivals are known as derbies.

Why is London important in this conversation? Well, some of soccer's top teams and biggest rivals call London home.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Millwall, and Charlton Athletic (among others) play their home matches in the Greater London area. In fact, many of the grounds are just a few miles apart.

This proximity, along with varying levels of success, is what ignited and still fuels the London derbies.

Alright, let's get into the top four, starting with the most famous and fierce...

North London Derby - Arsenal vs. Tottenham

North London Derby - Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur

As the name states, the North London Derby is a derby between two North London football clubs, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. It's one of the most intense rivalries in soccer.

The rivalry began in 1913, years after their first match in 1887. Why? Because Arsenal moved from south of the Thames in Plumstead to Highbury, just four miles from White Hart Lane.

 Arsenal Wins 81
Tottenham Wins 62
Draws 51
Top Scorer Emmanuel Adebayor (10)


In recent years, Spurs have closed the gap by qualifying for the Champions League with top 4 finishes and finishing above Arsenal in the 2016-17 Premier League season.

Dockers Derby - Millwall vs. West Ham

Dockers Derby - Millwall vs. West Ham

Millwall and West Ham have a long, resentful history.

Two things create the foundation for this rivalry: both clubs were based in East London and both sets of fans of were largely dockers at shipyards. Hence, the name Dockers Derby.

Millwall Wins 38
West Ham Wins 34
Draws 27
Top Scorer Alf Twigg (10)


West Ham currently plays in the Premier League, while Millwall plays in the Championship.

Arsenal vs. Chelsea

Arsenal vs. Chelsea

The Arsenal vs. Chelsea rivalry stems from the clubs' successes and has intensified since Chelsea's rise since the early 2000s.

Arsenal Wins 74
Chelsea Wins 62
Draws 56
Top Scorer Didier Drogba (13)


Since 2003, when Roman Abramovic took control of the club, Chelsea have been the most dominant side in London with 5 Premier League, 4 FA Cup, 3 League Cup, 2 Community Shield, 1 Champions League and 1 Europa League titles. 

Chelsea vs. Tottenham

 Chelsea vs. Tottenham

Chelsea play in West London at Stamford Bridge. Spurs play in North London at White Hart Lane (currently Wembley).

While they faced off as early as 1909, the rivalry began 57 years later. The year was 1967 and the occasion was the FA Cup Final - the first between two London clubs. Spurs went on to win 2-1, but Chelsea have been the dominant side since the 1990s.

Chelsea Wins 68
Tottenham Wins 51
Draws 40


Today, the clubs are not only two of the best teams in London, but also England and the world. In the 2016-17 Premier League season, Chelsea finished first and Spurs finished second.


London is home to world-renowned soccer rivalries. 

Which is your favorite London derby? Let the banter begin in the comments below. 😜

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