Football wouldn’t be half as fun without rivalries. Britain is home to some of the most fierce rivalries in the world. Some of these matches are so intense that they are not just played on the pitch but also off it. In this article, we will be having a look at some of the biggest rivals of Aston Villa.
Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888 and of the Premier League in 1992. Villa are one of only five English clubs to have won the European Cup, in 1981–82. They have also won the Football League First Division seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once.
Considering atmosphere, fans opinion, ticket sales, social media buzz and the history between the clubs, here are the five biggest rivals of Aston Villa.
5. Coventry City
Aston Villa and Leicester City are considered Coventry City’s biggest traditional rivals. However, in recent years, it can be argued that Coventry sports fans have had to work hard to find a “true” rival, with the Birmingham region falling back on its traditional geographical rivalries rather than their neighbours down the A45.
In an recent survey, Coventry fans voted Aston Villa as their biggest rivals ahead of Leicester City. In the same survey, Villa fans rated Coventry as only the fifth biggest rival.
The 1936-37 season marked the first time Coventry met with local-rivals Aston Villa in league football, and the result was a 0-0 draw.
So far, the clubs have met 59 times with Villa winning 32 compared to Coventry City’s 10.
4. Manchester United
They are not really rivals, but the Red Devils had some brilliant battles with Villa in the 90s. In the above-mentioned survey, Villa fans rated Manchester United as their fourth most hated team. These give us enough reason to put Manchester United as one of the biggest rivals of Aston Villa. However, Manchester United fans did not rate Villa among their top 5 rivals.
The first game between the teams was played on 19 Nov 1892, in which United (then Newton Health) won the game 2-0. Till now, the clubs have met 187 times in professional matches and Villa have won 49 matches compared to United’s 98.