Top 4 Aston Villa F.C. Biggest Rivals


Aston Villa Football Club is a professional football club based in Birmingham, England. Established in 1874, Aston Villa has a rich history in English football, with the 2023-24 season marking its 110th in the top tier. Only Everton has spent more seasons in the top flight.

Aston Villa holds the record for the most-played fixture in English top-flight football against Everton. Despite a relegation in 2016, Aston Villa regained promotion in 2018-19.

They rank ninth in the All-time FA Premier League table and boast the fifth-highest total of major honors among English clubs. One of their remarkable achievements is scoring the highest number of league goals in a single season (1930-31).

Additionally, they are one of six English teams to have won the European Cup, achieving this feat in 1982, defeating Bayern Munich 1-0 in Rotterdam.

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Who Are Aston Villa Football Club’s Biggest Rivals?

1. Birmingham City

2015-16 Aston Villa Vs Birmingham City (1-0) - Capital One Cup 3rd Round - Full Match

Aston Villa Football Club’s main rival is Birmingham City. Dating back to their first encounter on September 27, 1879, when Birmingham City was known as Small Heath Alliance, these teams have a long history of competition and intense matches.

The inaugural game, played at Small Heath’s Muntz Street ground, ended with a 1-0 victory for Small Heath Alliance. Villa, however, claimed the first competitive win in 1887 during the Second Round of the FA Cup, triumphing 4-0.

Their rivalry intensified in the following years, with notable clashes In different competitions. One of these clashes occurred during the 1963 League Cup final, where Birmingham City clinched their first major domestic honor with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Villa.

Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, both teams met regularly in the First Division.

Aston Villa secured a league double in the 1980-81 season, while Birmingham City managed a remarkable 3-0 victory at St Andrew’s following Villa’s European Cup triumph in 1982.

The Premier League era brought renewed anticipation as both teams clashed in league derbies after a 15-year. Birmingham City sealed victories in their first encounters, with goalkeeping errors from Villa’s Peter Enckelman, stirring emotions and occasional violence among fans.

The following seasons saw the rivalry persist, with matches ending in draws and narrow victories. Aston Villa finally broke their league jinx against Birmingham City in the 2005-06 season, sealing a win with a Kevin Phillips goal.

In 2010, tensions flared during matches with incidents of fan violence and confrontations both on and off the pitch. Birmingham City’s promotion to the Premier League in 2002 fueled expectations.

The rivalry took a controversial turn in 2011 when Alex McLeish, former manager of Birmingham City, crossed over to Aston Villa, sparking anger and protests among fans.

This move also charges hatred between the clubs’ supporters. The rivalry continued into the EFL Championship era, following relegations and promotions for both teams.

However, fans haven’t seen the two teams clash after an incident involving a Birmingham City fan assaulting Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish In 2019.

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2. West Bromwich Albion

Aston Villa 2-1 West Bromwich Albion | Extended highlights

Aston Villa Football Club has a long-standing rivalry with West Bromwich Albion. The roots of this rivalry run deep, tracing back to their early encounters in the late 19th century.

Their first clash dates back to 1882 in the Staffordshire Cup, where Villa hosted a 3–3 draw followed by a narrow win for West Bromwich Albion in the replay. This encounter possibly marked the inception of football violence, with fans engaging in brawls.

The rivalry continued through the years, with notable meetings in the FA Cup. In 1887, Villa emerged victorious with a 2–0 win in the first FA Cup Final between the two clubs. Both teams also became founding members of The Football League.

The late 1970s and early 1980s saw a peak in intensity, as both clubs vied for league dominance. Villa’s league victory in 1980–81 added fuel to the fire, hardening the rivalry as one of the fiercest in English football.

Players from both sides stressed the importance of matches against their rivals, highlighting the intensity of the competition during this era. Modern times haven’t dampened the rivalry’s edge.

Despite periods of relegation and promotion, clashes between Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion continue to draw attention and passion from fans.

The absence of other West Midlands teams in the top flight has only strengthened the matter of these clashes. Crossing the divide between the clubs isn’t uncommon, with players like Tony Morley and Cyrille Regis representing both sides in the 1970s and 1980s.

Their experiences offer insight into the unique dynamic between the clubs and the players’ perspectives on the rivalry. In terms of honors, both clubs boast impressive records, with Aston Villa leading just in major trophies.

However, it’s not just about the silverware; it’s about the pride, history, and bragging rights that come with victories over one’s closest rivals.

3. Wolverhampton Wanderers

Honours even at Villa Park | Aston Villa 1-1 Wolves | Match Highlights

Aston Villa Football Club’s biggest rival In the Premier League is Wolverhampton Wanderers. When it comes to rivalries, one that has emerged recently, almost out of the blue, is with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

While some may question the intensity of this rivalry, there’s a noticeable tension between these two Premier League clubs, especially as both are on the rise.

Historically, Villa and Wolves have maintained a rather cordial relationship. Back In the late 1950s, there hasn’t been any notable hostility between the clubs. In fact, there’s been a fair exchange of players and managers over the years.

Recent meetings between the two clubs have injected some spice into their relationship. Following Villa’s relegation from the Premier League in 2016, tensions rose as they found themselves competing in the Championship alongside Wolves.

Matches between the two saw moments of drama, including clashes between players like Jack Grealish and Conor Coady. However, these instances were often fleeting, with players reconciling after the heat of the game.

One of the matches happened in January 2017 when former Villa boss Paul Lambert celebrated Wolves’ victory as though it were a personal triumph.

This victory was a big moment for Wolves, who hadn’t beaten Villa on home soil in decades. Further tension arose as Wolves surged ahead under manager Nuno Espirito Santo, while Villa struggled to find their footing.

Managerial comments added fuel to the fire, with Steve Bruce questioning Wolves’ methods, particularly their links to agent Jorge Mendes. Despite these sparks, there’s also been mutual respect between the clubs.

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4.  Coventry City

Aston Villa 3-2 Coventry (2000-01)

Coventry City has a notable rivalry with Aston Villa Football Club. This rivalry is back to their meetings in the 1936-37 season, where their first league match ended in a 0-0 draw.

Despite being geographically close, the intensity of this rivalry wasn’t always apparent, especially to players like former Coventry City defender Steve Froggatt, who admitted to being unaware of it until he faced Aston Villa on his debut for the Sky Blues.

In recent years, Coventry fans have found Aston Villa to be their main rival, surpassing even Leicester City in a survey. This underscores the evolving dynamics of regional football rivalries.

Aston Villa, on the other hand, rates Coventry as only their fifth-biggest rival. Froggatt’s experience relieves the unexpected nature of this rivalry.

Having previously been associated with West Brom and Birmingham City during his time at Aston Villa, Froggatt immersed himself in a new level of passion and competitiveness when facing Coventry.

  • March 11, 2024