Saturday, May 25, 2024

Betting on Soccer Derbies: Strategies for Rivalry Matches

Stefan Budur in Soccer Betting Strategies 8 Apr 2024


This article will show you how to set up a successful betting strategy for derby games using stats and match analysis.

Soccer derbies are one of the most exciting sports events across the globe because of the fierce rivalry between the teams. A derby game has everything to get your heart rate up with drama on the pitch, a crazy atmosphere in the stands, and explosive headlines, before and after the game.

What is a soccer derby?

A soccer derby is a match between two historically rival teams, also known as arch-rivals, that compete in the same competition.

Soccer derbies are known to be aggressive encounters, both on the pitch between the players and off the pitch between fans. Unfortunately, derbies had been known for their hooligan history which started in England in the late 18th century and was a dark spot in soccer history for a long time. The extremely aggressive behaviour of the rival fans would often result in severe injuries or deaths, on many occasions. Such unfortunate history is behind us but derby matches remain a safety risk in many countries.

Types of soccer derbies

All soccer derbies are based on fierce rivalries that consider a few important factors in which both teams fight to emerge victorious. The most common derbies are:

  • national teams derbies
  • same city derbies
  • geographical area derbies
  • rivalries to gain supremacy in the Country
  • international derbies between clubs from different countries aiming to become supreme in a continent

I will give you a few examples of derbies from all the categories I mentioned above to understand all the soccer derbies types.

National team derbies emerged at the very beginning of soccer when a country was represented by the best national players fighting to gain continent or world supremacy. The ongoing rivalry between Brazil and Argentina, battling to emerge victorious in Copa America and the World Cup has produced some historical fixtures.

City derbies are between local teams looking to gain supremacy in the city. Think about the Mersey Side derby between Liverpool and Everton. Another great example is the Madrid derby between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Geographical area derbies occur between two rivals looking to reign supreme in a geographical location. Derby del Sole is a legendary fixture between Italian side rivals Napoli and AS Roma, located in the Central South of Italy.

Because top teams aim to win many titles every season, some rivalries developed to gain supremacy in their respective countries. If Real Madrid vs Barcelona is an old rivalry that dates back to the beginning of the 19th Century, Liverpool vs Manchester City has become a new derby to gain supremacy in England thanks to Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. The similar derby – but between Liverpool and the other Manchester side (United) – was fought for many years during Sir Alex Ferguson’s era.

The same premises apply to international derbies where clubs fight to reign supreme on their continent. Palmeriras vs River Plate are two rival sides from Brazil and Argentina fighting each year to win Copa Libertadores.

Betting on soccer derbies: the best strategies for rivalry matches

Because rivalry matches are difficult to predict, a betting strategy becomes important when wagering money on such soccer events. Even if you bet on bookings, you are building a bet or you back your favourite goalscorer in a derby game, you need to set up and test a betting strategy.

Depending on the bet type, sometimes an in-play single bet can be more appropriate than building ACCAs using rivalry matches.

Full-time result soccer betting strategy in derby games

Liverpool and Manchester City continued their last season’s rivalry looking to come on top as the best Premier League side in the previous decade. The Citizens emerged victorious in the Liverpool battle last season, winning the treble. However,  Jurgen Klopp’s team is better positioned this time to win the Premier League title at the end of the season.

Betting on Soccer Derbies

Before travelling to Anfield, Manchester City was undefeated in the last 12 Premier League rounds. Still with Liverpool’s incredible home record, the fixture was announced as a tight contest.

Also, considering the Etihad’s 1-1 draw occurred earlier in the season between City and Liverpool, a similar scenario was tipped to repeat at Anfield.

Over/Under 2.5 goals betting strategy for rivalry matches

Although derby games will always be a tight contest between bitter rivals, you need to pay attention to details before you place an over/under 2.5 goals bet. Follow the below tips and see when you should bet over and when you should bet under 2.5 goals in a derby game.

Bet over 2.5 goals when:

  • the derby is played between two attacking teams that defend poor
  • a top team plays at home against an out-of-form rival

Bet under 2.5 goals if:

  • the rivalry involves two sides that don’t possess great attacking power
  • the match is a high -stake knockout contest
  • both teams are strong defensively

Going back to the Liverpool vs Manchester City this year’s derby games, both fixtures resulted in under 2.5 goals scored at the end of the match. Although both sides boosted one of the highest averages of goals scored per match, the high stake, the extraordinary defending and the manager’s tactics led to a 1-1 full-time.

Another similar example was the Barcelona vs Real Madrid La Liga fixture when the Spanish giants returned the same result as Liverpool vs Manchester City, despite punters expecting a high goal-scoring end.

Don’t forget to check the news before you place a bet because the absence of key players can impact the final result. Gamble responsibly using the money you can afford to lose when betting on soccer derbies.


Stefan Budur

Former owner of Betting Mojo, experienced bettor and former punter at Betadvisor, Stefan has done it all when it comes to soccer betting. With more than 15 years of experience in the gambling industry, he gained a lot of knowledge that he'd like to share with readers so you can position yourself better every time you place a bet.



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