Although Port Vale are having a fairly decent season in League Two so far, John Askey’s team will look forward to a bitterly fought match against Crewe Alexandra on 2 November.
The battles between these two clubs always produce plenty of fireworks, but it’s questionable whether this match will be as explosive as the encounters between Port Vale and Stoke City.
The Potteries Derby is well-known as being one of the fiercest derbies in English football, and it has been going all the way back to 1887. Despite the historical legacy of the Potteries derby, a recent report has made the unlikely suggestion that the rivalry between Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra is even more competitive.
The report came from GiveMeSport and it was based on statistics that allegedly show the amount of mutual dislike between the two teams. According to the report’s rankings, matches between Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra are the 14th most hotly-contested games, whilst the Potteries derby is only the 28th bitterest football rivalry in English football.
For any Port Vale fan this will be fairly surprising, as Stoke City have long been held as the most bitter rivals any Vale fan can havee. While the games between Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra are always interesting, if you try and compared these matches to the Potteries derbies, then there isn’t any real competition.
Despite these reservations, GiveMeSport’s list makes for some interesting reading, especially as they have the Potteries derby ranked equally on 28th place with the matches between Manchester City and Manchester United.
First place in football derbies was awarded to the games between Southampton and Portsmouth, with the rivalry between Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle following on close behind. The North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur was the highest placed Premier League derby, whilst the epic bouts between Liverpool and Manchester United were in fourth place.
The report does have a few features that are bound to court controversy. For example, you won’t find the epic East London matches between West Ham United and Millwall anywhere on the list, and we aren’t entirely sure that the matches between Cheltenham Town and Forest Green Rovers deserve to be ranked higher than the North East derbies between Newcastle United and Sunderland.
Despite the reservations about the derbies report, it’s nice to know that Port Vale are one of the few clubs to get featured more than once in the GiveMeSport shortlist. Other clubs who seem to be fairly hot relations with the neighbours include the likes of Peterborough United, Manchester United and Nottingham Forest.
Port Vale’s next ‘derby’ is against Crewe in November and it’s essential that John Askey’s team win this match if they want to add some spark to what has been a fairly unspectacular season so far. Although Crewe are currently sailing high in the League Two table, there’s always the chance that Port Vale might be worth a bet and you can find out more here about what kinds of bonuses are available for this fascinating clash.
Both teams are pretty equally weighted in recent encounters. Port Vale won their last home match against Crewe 1-0 thanks to a goal from substitute Tom Pope. Prior to this, Port Vale were winners at Crewe as a result of Leon Legge’s goal in the 75th minute. The last time that Crewe actually beat Port Vale was in August 2017 and they only won by a solitary goal.
The fact that Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra have been sharing the same division for many years may have put this derby above the Potteries derby. It’s important to remember that Port Vale haven’t actually played Stoke City since 2002, and it’s this fact that might have undervalued the Potteries derby in the report.
There has been 132 years of history between Port Vale and Stoke City, and interestingly Port Vale have the upper hand with 16 wins compared to Stoke’s 15 in 52 competitive clashes. The last time that these rivals clashed saw Port Vale coming out as victors thanks to Michael Cummins’ goal in February 2002.
Both teams have had varying fortunes in the past 17 years. While Stoke City have enjoyed Premier League football, Port Vale’s financial troubles have seen them in decline. However, there is hope that things might finally be on the up after the relegation to League Two football in 2017. All of which sets up November’s match against Crewe to be hugely important.