West Brom and Wolves top soccer rivalry list

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

The Midlands 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 in-depth 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 English soccer, as one in four fans from both clubs claimed in the report that their rivalry went much deeper than football.

Manchester United are still the club fans love to hate, 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, whilst Manchester United overlooked their neighbours Manchester City in favour of picking Liverpool as their biggest competitor.

Marketing director Jon Sheehy of the New Football Pools, which also own Vernons and Zetters Football Pools, said: "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."