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Wolves v Albion tops derby list

Football's biggest rivalry is not in the Premiership but between Albion and Wolves, according to a new survey of fans out today.

900albion-v-wolves-1.jpgFootball's biggest rivalry is not in the Premiership but between Albion and Wolves, according to a new survey of fans out today.

The Black Country clubs have the most keen rivalry of any other football neighbours south of the border, followed by the 'Old Farm' pairing of Ipswich and Norwich, the survey of 6,000 supporters revealed.

Liverpool and Manchester United came in as the third biggest grudge match.

The 'Football Rivalries Report 2008', produced by The New Football Pools, owners of Littlewoods, combines an indepth survey of all 92.

League clubs in England and Wales and a statistical analysis of club records and histories, to uncover the reasons why fans harbour such bitterness and jealousy towards each other.

Baggies' and Wolves' fans were deemed to have the most intense rivalry in the report, with one in four fans from both clubs claiming that their rivalry went much deeper than football.

Manchester United are still the club fans love to hate – with 12 per cent of fans of English teams seeing the Old Trafford club as their main rival.

Arsenal fans felt that Manchester United were a bigger rival to them than local foes Tottenham Hotspur, while United overlooked their neighbours Manchester City, in favour of picking Liverpool as their biggest competitor.

The rivalry between Cardiff and Swansea came in at fifth while the North East fans of Newcastle and Sunderland were only ranked ninth in the list.

Jon Sheehy, marketing director for The New Football Pools, which also own Vernons and Zetters Football Pools, said: "Football is based on competitive rivalry between clubs, regions and fans.

"A surprising aspect to our report is the extent to which 'local' rivalries are in decline.

"It's a sign of the modern game, with greater media coverage, when fans are overlooking their near-neighbour as rivals, in favour of a club which plays over 200 miles away."

The survey said the top 10 biggest rivalries in our game were:

1) Albion and Wolves

2) Norwich City and Ipswich Town

3) Liverpool and Manchester United

4) Portsmouth and Southampton

5) Cardiff City and Swansea City

6) Aston Villa and Birmingham City

7) Sheff United and Sheff Wednesday

8) Bristol City and Bristol Rovers

9) Newcastle United and Sunderland

10) Brighton and Crystal Palace

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