The Premier League is the top-flight league in the English soccer hierarchy and one of the most prestigious and competitive soccer leagues in the world. The Premier League is known for its demanding, fast-paced physical style.
Although initially founded as The Football League First Division in 1888, the Premier League is a more recent rebranding and segregation as a separate top-level league that occurred in 1992.
The motives for this move were lackluster performances of English soccer teams in the late ‘80s in European competitions such as the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Cup (now the Europa League). In general, the league was stagnating, and many of the league’s top players were starting to move abroad.
The move from the First Division to the Premier League meant that the Premier League would still fall under the English Football Association’s authority, but they were able to secure individual sponsorship and TV deals which led to greater exposure and improved attendances. This, in turn, spiked the quality of the league and its teams.
Despite initial protests by the English FA, in retrospect, the creation of the Premier League proved an ingenious move.
Today, the English Premier League is number one in terms of viewership and revenue, boasting over £5.9 billion in revenue, nearly double that of their closest competitors – the German Bundesliga and Spanish La Liga. Thanks to improved TV deals, every Premier League club receives over £90m in TV rights money over the course of the season, which is a great sign of stability and long-term prosperity.
Since the Premier League is the most popular league of the most popular sport in the globe, it’s no surprise that it gets the best attention regardless of which sportsbook you’re betting at.
The Premier League is structured with 20 teams who all play each other twice over the course of the season, lasting from August through May. A win grants 3 points, a draw 1 point, and a loss 0 points.
At the conclusion of the season, the bottom 3 teams are relegated and make way for the top 3 teams from the EFL Sky Bet Championship – the second-tier league in the English system. The top four teams in the Premier League are guaranteed a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League, whereas 5th through 7th placed teams are eligible for a place in the UEFA Europa League.
Soccer is the most popular sport on the globe, which is why it gets the most attention at bookmakers. Most matches have more than 500 betting markets to choose from, meaning the choices of how you lay your stakes are virtually endless, letting you exploit your soccer knowledge to the maximum. We will focus on the most popular types of bets and what they represent.
This type of bet is the simplest. It lets you bet on the match outcome by betting on the home team, away team, or betting on a draw.
Handicap betting is one of the most common betting markets for advanced punters. This type of bet is best used when the difference in skill between teams is so large as to warrant extremely low odds for the favorite (such as Chelsea playing against a lower-league side in a cup match). By placing a -1.5 goal handicap bet on the favorite, you would get higher odds by banking on the fact that the favorite will win by a margin of 2 goals, because the match would virtually start with a score of -1.5 to 0.
Similarly, you can place a +1.5 handicap bet on the underdog, essentially betting that they will lose but not by a margin of 2 or more goals. Handicap betting on the underdog is useful when there is a clear but moderate discrepancy in skill level between the teams in question.
The goal cut-off point for handicap bets can be 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, and so on.
Over/Under is a simple but highly useful bet where you try and predict the number of goals in a match. You can bet Over/Under on 0.5 goals, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, and so forth. Depending on the teams in question, the odds will vary.
This bet is self-explanatory. We recommend betting BTTS when two sides meet that are known for playing open, attacking football – or simply two strong teams that you know have the quality to score at least once. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can bet on BTTS in the first or second half, a bet which usually elevates your odds to +500 with a hefty potential return.
The number of English soccer players that have wowed crowds with their performances and shaped the league to what it is today is too long to fathom. Instead, we will focus on the players that have had the greatest impact in the modern era and the league’s recently successful clubs.
A legend of English soccer on both national and club level, Wayne Rooney stomped his feet on the soccer world as a 16 year old boy by scoring a gorgeous 90th minute screamer against Arsenal, winning the match for his team and becoming the EPL’s youngest-ever goal scorer. That victory also stopped Arsenal’s impressive 30-match unbeaten run at the time.
Rooney’s talents were closely monitored by Sir Alex Ferguson, who then went on to sign the player at Manchester United for a reported fee of £25.6 million – record-breaking for an under-20 player at the time.
Rooney went above and beyond expectations, justifying his hefty price tag by staying at Manchester United for 13 years, accumulating dozens of individual and team trophies along the way. To date, Rooney remains Manchester United’s leading goal scorer with his 253 goals and 146 assists across 559 appearances. For country, Rooney leads the charts with 53 goals in his 119 appearances.
Despite his impressive goal-scoring records, Rooney was never a pure striker that played furthest up the field, but more of a “shadow striker” or “second forward” who would often play in the attacking midfield position of the pitch. Rooney’s technical gifts, vision, and goal-scoring prowess made him as good of a passer as he was a goal scorer, thus a strong weapon that could be utilized in various ways.
The peak of Rooney’s career was winning the Champions League in 2008 amidst a period of complete dominance by Manchester United in the Premier League, where they also accumulated 3 consecutive Premier League trophies. Needless to say, his talents played a pivotal part.
“Remember the name Wayne Rooney!” were Clive Tyldesley’s prophetic words upon witnessing Rooney’s beauty of a goal against Arsenal at only 16 years of age, and remembered he shall remain as one of England’s best players in history.
The name of Alan Shearer is synonymous with English football. A Newcastle icon who would probably win the seat of Lord Mayor if he ever decided to run for it, Alan Shearer is the most prolific striker in the history of the Premier League with his 260 goals across 441 appearances.
Shearer will be most remembered for his time spent at Newcastle, where he remained for 10 years, scoring 148 times on 303 occasions, but he also had two notable 4-year spells at Southampton (1988-1992) and Blackburn Rovers (1992-1996).
To passionate fans, Shearer was much more than a goal scorer. He was a strong figure, a leader on the pitch and in the locker room, a humble person, and the guy who will always leave his heart out on the pitch. His goals speak on his behalf, but Shearer’s overall contribution on the field is impossible to summarize with mere statistics.
In terms of trophies, Shearer won the Premier League in the 1994/95 season with Blackburn Rovers. Individually, he was 3rd place in the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1995, PFA Player of the Year in 1995, and FA Writers’ Association Player of the Year in 1994. Shearer is also Newcastle United’s all-time leading goal scorer.
Non-arguably one of the best players of our generation and beyond, Cristiano Ronaldo may be most remembered for his Real Madrid days, but it was Manchester United where the Portuguese virtuoso initially made his name, later prompting a record-breaking €94,000,000 transfer to Madrid.
Ronaldo grabbed Sir Alex Ferguson’s attention while playing for Sporting CP against none other than Man United, on not one but two occasions. The matches were played during the 02/03 season in the Champions League group stages. Fergie was so impressed with Ronaldo’s performance that he later went into Sporting’s dressing room and straight-up told him, “Listen, I want you now.” The very next year, Ronaldo was a Manchester United player, and over the course of 7 seasons, he became their most important figure, playing a crucial part in his team’s 4 Premier League titles and one Champions League trophy during his time there.
Under Sir Alex’s tutelage, Cristiano scored 84 times and made 34 assists in 196 appearances. He was crowned player of the season on two occasions and won the golden boot in the 2007/08 season.
Didier Drogba was the epitome of a big match player, a deadly forward with a rare instinct for goal that played a crucial role in Chelsea’s first-ever successful conquest of Europe. Drogba will be most remembered as a striker you could always rely on for the big occasions, having scored 9 goals in 9 cup finals – a pretty telling stat of his determination and unyielding behavior on the pitch.
However, that’s not to say the Ivorian wasn’t an otherwise consistent performer. He arrived at Chelsea from Olympique de Marseille a year after Abramovich’s takeover of the club for a fee of €38.5 million. During his 10 years at the club, he made 254 Premier League appearances, scoring 104 times and assisting on 63 occasions.
With his team, he lifted both the FA Cup and Premier League on 4 times each, the English Super Cup on 3 occasions, and the UEFA Champions League in 11/12. He was also voted African footballer of the year in 2007, 2008, and 2013.
In the hearts and minds of many Chelsea fans, Drogba surpasses the stature of English club legends like Lampard and Terry. Whether or not that holds true is up for debate, but it is undeniable that Drogba was one of the best strikers of his generation and a key figure in Chelsea’s ascendance from obscurity that began in the mid ‘00s.
The English Premier League is one of the most competitive playing fields in soccer, and it has been graced with plenty of historically strong clubs that are still atop the soccer world to this day.
Stadium: Old Trafford (74,994 capacity)
Nickname: The Red Devils
Manchester United is the club with the richest trophy cabinet in England. They have 20 league titles under their belt, 13 of which came since the formation of the Premier League. In addition, the club has won the FA Cup on 12 occasions and the League Cup 5 times. On a European level, the team boasts 3 Champions League trophies, 1 Europa League, and one FIFA World Club Cup.
Man United’s history is rich and eventful, but their most successful period was during Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure (1986-2013), who, according to many, is the greatest soccer manager of all time.
Results didn’t come imminently after Ferguson’s arrival, however, as the club finished 11th place in his first season in charge. In 1993, 6 years into Sir Alex’s time at the club, Manchester United won their first league title since 1967. The following year, the club repeated the same success but with an FA Cup trophy to complement their Premier League title, securing the first double in Man United’s history.
Once things started kicking into gear for the Red Devils, there were no stop signs in sight. In the 98/99 season, Ferguson went on to lead his team to the first treble (League Title, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League) ever won by an English team. The UEFA Champions League final of that year marked one of the most memorable comebacks in soccer history, as Solskjaer scored a dramatic game-winning goal in extra time of the final.
United’s dominance continued in the ‘00s, as they won the league in 1999/00, 2000/01, and 2002-03 seasons. In the years after, the team marked a slow period, but a short-lived one. The Red Devils strung together 3 consecutive Premier League titles alongside a UEFA Champions League trophy during the 2006/07, 2007/08, and 2008/09 seasons, with the help of none other than Cristiano Ronaldo.
Stadium: The Emirates (59,867 capacity)
Nickname: The Gunners
Arsenal is one of the oldest and most successful English clubs in history, having won the league title 13 times. They are also the current record holders of the most FA Cup wins in history, boasting 13 trophies in their cabinet.
Arsenal’s league success is evenly spread throughout history. They won 4 consecutive league titles between the years 1930 and 1935 and 4 more league titles in 1937/38, 1947/48, 1952/53, and 1970/71.
The most notable period in the Gunners history is Arsene Wenger’s era, who stayed for so long at the club that people would often think Arsenal was named after him. Wenger arrived in London (1996) as a revolutionary. He transformed the team from head to toe, from the tactics to the players’ fitness regimes. Wenger introduced a whole new level of discipline and went as far as controlling the players’ diet to maximize their performance, eliminating sugary foods and the like – things that are now considered the standard in modern soccer but were unheard of at the time.
With the help of the Frenchman’s remarkable eye for talent, Arsenal brought in players such as Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka, Robert Pires, and Emmanuel Petit. Under Wenger, Arsenal started to play a new brand of eye-catching, attacking football which produced two league cup doubles around the turn of our century.
In the 2003/04 season, Arsenal won the first Premier League under Wenger, and they did so without losing a single match – a feat that would later be known as “The Invincibles.” Their unbeaten run continued well into the following season, extending to 49 games without losing a match.
Arsene also led the Gunners to their first-ever Champions League final, and a first for a London club, but they lost to Barcelona 2:1. Since Wenger’s departure, Arsenal has failed to register a trophy in their cabinet.
Stadium: Stamford Bridge (41,631 capacity)
Nickname: The Blues
Chelsea FC was founded in 1905 but didn’t start making any meaningful strides as a top side until 1997, the year which marked their second-ever FA Cup title, followed by a period of consistent success that’s turned Chelsea into one of the best clubs in England’s history.
Despite winning the FA Cup in 1996/97 and 1999/00, the UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1997/88, and the League Cup in 1997/18, it wasn’t until Roman Abramovich took the reins that Chelsea started making their mark on history.
The Russian billionaire bought the club prior to the start of the 2003/04 season, quickly paying off most of the club’s debts and investing £100,000,000 into the transfer market by acquiring several world-class players: Makelele, Crespo, Geremi, Joe Cole, Damien Duff, and Glen Johnson. The results were immediate, as Chelsea finished 2nd in the Premier League that same season – their best finish in 49 years.
The season after, Abramovich hired Jose Mourinho, who was just coming off a Champions League trophy with FC Porto. Jose quickly became a hit and dubbed himself “The Special One” – a nickname that still holds to this day. Mourinho’s first season at Chelsea saw the club break all sorts of records and win the Premier League with 95 points, conceding just 15 goals and keeping 25 clean sheets in the process. That year, Chelsea also won the League Cup and reached the Champions League semi-finals. The year after, Chelsea became the first London club since the 1930s to successfully defend their league title.
Chelsea’s most monumental period came in the 2012/13 season, where they beat defending champions Barcelona in the semi-final and won against Bayern on penalties to clinch the club’s first ever Champions League trophy.
Stadium: Anfield (54,074 capacity)
Liverpool is the second-most-gloried club in England after Manchester United, and coincidentally, they’re the Red Devils’ fiercest rivals. The club can boast of 60 titles when combining their European and domestic trophies, but much of their success didn’t come in the modern era. League-wise, their most successful period occurred between 1972 and 1990, having won 11 league titles during that period. 1990 is the year of Liverpool’s last league title to date.
On the European stage, Liverpool is one of the most successful clubs in the UEFA Champions League, having won the cup on 5 occasions (1976/77, 1977/78, 1980/81, 1983/84, and 2004/05).
Their latest Champions League trophy in 2005 came after Liverpool failed to secure a top 4 finish in the league, a position which would grant them qualification to next year’s CL competition. Having won in the final against Milan in one of the greatest comebacks of all time, after being down 3:0 at half-time, UEFA made an exception and gave them an opportunity to defend their trophy next year. Liverpool met AC Milan once again in the final, but this time lost out 2:1 as the Italians claimed the trophy.
Besides its trophy-laden history, Liverpool is known for its passionate fan base and iconic anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” that can be heard being sung by thousands of Reds’ fans prior to every match.
Stadium: Etihad Stadium (55,097 capacity)
Nickname: Citizens, Cityzens
Abramovich’s takeover of Chelsea and subsequent cash injection in the club resulting in monumental spending on the transfer market was outside the norm at the time, as most clubs were owned and financed by the fans in one way or the other. However, this proved a successful formula. In 2008, a similar takeover happened of Manchester City, who at the time was no more than a midtable side.
The club was purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group for £210 million. The takeover happened on deadline day in August, meaning there was little time for transfers, but City did manage do subdue Brazilian star Robinho for an English transfer record fee of £32.5 million.
City’s performances started to improve, as they recorded 6th and 5th place finishes the following two seasons. Prior to the 2010/11 season, City transferred Mario Balotelli, James Milner, David Silva, Yaya Toure and Jerome Boateng and was starting to look like a real title contender. City’s transfer market activity proved successful, as they won the FA Cup and qualified to the Champions League by finishing 3rd place in the Premier League.
The year after marked one of the most memorable league finishes in history, as Aguero scored in the 93rd minute against QRP to clinch his team’s first title since 1967. City went on to win the league again in the 2013/14 and 2017/18 seasons and is now part of the “Big Six” of English soccer.
In England, the passion for the sport is immense. Soccer is part of the country’s culture, and it plays an integral part of many fans’ lives and even their identity. Week in and week out, fans of all ages come out in droves to watch their favorite teams and cheer them on for an exhilarating 90 minutes of action.
Many fans will argue about the overall quality of the teams in the Premier League and how it compares to other leagues, but there’s no arguing that the EPL is and has been the most competitive soccer league in Europe. This competitiveness stems from the “Big Six” of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham – all top clubs which battle tooth and nail each year for that prestigious PL trophy. The number of teams with a slim skill gap between them is immense, which is why it doesn’t get more exciting than the Premier League when it comes to soccer.
As a bettor, you may have an easier time betting other leagues, but your potential reward is greater with the Premier League. If you closely follow the teams, their form, the state of their injured players, and so forth, you may be able to get an edge over the bookies and get excellent returns for your stakes. The good thing is that the Premier League is easy to follow due to its high entertainment factor.
If you’re looking to have a bet on upcoming EPL matches, we recommend you do so only through the most reliable bookmakers around.