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 5 of the best Midlands derbies

The derby matches of Merseyside, Manchester and London are among the most celebrated in football and thus receive plenty of fanfare, but what of the other local rivalries in the English game?

Right in the heart of the country, a catalogue of Midlands rivals have deep-lying hostilities towards one another and have made for some of the most heated derby days in English football history.

In a month where Aston Villa meet both Derby County and Birmingham City in quick succession, here's a selection of five of the best Midlands derbies of recent years.

Derby County 0-6 Aston Villa (Premier League, April 2008)

Frank Lampard's Derby might be narrow favourites to beat Villa when they clash in the Championship at Pride Park this weekend (Derby are a best-priced 15/13 with Paddy Power special betting offers), but that certainly wasn't the case when they met in the Premier League just over a decade ago.

With Derby already relegated and staring at a record low Premier League points tally, manager Paul Jewell spoke of a 'glimmer of light' for the Rams if they could end the season with Midlands bragging rights over Aston Villa.

But Villa were rampant, going on to win 6-0 away from home and ultimately helping consign Derby to that unwanted accolade.

Derby County 3-2 Nottingham Forest (FA Cup replay February 2009)

After a fiery 1-1 draw at Pride Park, Derby made the short trip to the City Ground in an FA Cup fourth-round replay in February 2009.

In a thriller, Derby would come from 2-1 down to win 3-2 and advance to a fifth round tie with Manchester United, courtesy of a late winner from former Forest man Kris Commons.

But the tie would be remembered for the antics of Derby midfielder Robbie Savage.

Amidst the ecstasy of away fans at the full time whistle, Savage ran in celebration around the City Ground waving a black and white scarf.

The following season, Forest's Nathan Tyson would cause similar controversy in this fixture for waving a corner flag in front of Derby fans.

Birmingham City 2-3 Wolves (Championship, April 2013)

Wolves were staring a second successive relegation in the face when they traveled to play-off chasing Birmingham at the end of the 2012-13 Championship season, but on April Fool's Day the joke would be on the Blues as the away side secured a vital win in their battle for safety.

Having also won the reverse fixture 1-0, three first half goals fired Wolves on their way to a first league double over their West Midlands rivals in 14 years, while a second-half fightback from Birmingham was not enough to salvage a point as they ultimately went on to miss out on a play-odd spot.

It was not enough for Wolves however, who would still go on to suffer relegation to League One.

Aston Villa 4-3 West Brom (Premier League, January 2014)

Villa edged a frantic West Midlands encounter in the 2013/14 Premier League campaign, coming back from 2-0 down to beat West Brom 4-3.

The Baggies were two up inside ten minutes at Villa Park, but the home side were level on 24 minutes and when Fabian Delph struck just after half an hour it looked as though Villa would cruise to victory.

A West Brom equaliser on 43 minutes however would set up a nerve-jangling second half, before Christian Benteke settled things from the penalty spot.

Birmingham City 3-0 Aston Villa (Premier League, September 2002)

The first Second City derby for 15 years in 2002 is to this day the most memorable encounter between Aston Villa and Birmingham City.

Newly-promoted Birmingham ran out 3-0 winners against their giant rivals, with goals from Clinton Morrison, Geoff Horsfield and, embarrassingly, an own goal from Villa keeper Peter Enckelman.

Enckelman attempted to make a clearance after receiving the ball from an Olof Melburg throw but completely miss kicked it, allowing the ball to trickle into his net and, in the process, writing his name into Villa-Birmingham folklore.

Birmingham visit Villa park on Sunday 25th November and go into the game as underdogs at 10/3 with 888sport. Aston Villa are priced up at 10/11 with the same bookie and the draw 5/2.

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