EPL matches attract audiences of millions around the world. The English league is spectacular and the players are top class. The best footballers in the world play here: Mohamed Salah, Raheem Sterling, Rafael Waran, Alisson, Harry Kane and others. Here are the features of this league to help you with your betting.
English Premier League regulations: timing, allocation of places in the European competitions
The EPL is England's strongest football league, which may also include clubs from Wales. Until 2016 it was called the Barclays Premier League. The tournament takes place from August to May, on a round robin system, i.e. all 20 clubs play each other twice - at home and away. The EPL has never been relegated from the top four in the UEFA odds table. Therefore, it has an impressive representation in the European competitions:
- Places 1 to 4 automatically qualify for the Champions League group stage. The first-ranked club, regardless of the ranking, is placed in the first basket of the draw.
- 5th place and the winner of the FA Cup - the group stage of the Europa League.
- 6th place - Conference League qualification.
If the cup is won by a club in the top 5, the distribution of the European Cup quota is shifted: The 5th-6th places go to the LE and the 7th goes to the Conference League. The teams in the last 3 places (from 18th to 20th) go to the second most important tournament - Championships. The most frequent winners of the English Premier League are Manchester United (20 times) and Liverpool (19).
Features of the English Premier League
We have prepared a few features of the EPL that set it apart from other football leagues.
Class of players
The English Premier League is the world's strongest football league. The combined value of all players exceeds €9 billion (according to transfermarkt). Every promising footballer dreams of eventually moving to England. Even teams struggling for survival have a strong squad, worth over €100m.
Therefore, the teams from opposite sides of the standings are struggling. Norwich can beat Manchester City. This happened in the 2019/2020 season, for example, when the Canaries beat City 3-2 at home. There was already a mini-sensation in the first round of this season when Arsenal lost to EPL newcomer Brentford (0-2), who have spent most of their history in the lower leagues.
Almost all English teams play attacking football. That's why the English league is regarded as one of the most entertaining and productive leagues in Europe. Last season, for example, an average of 2.69 goals per game was scored, with over 2.5 being scored in exactly half of the matches. Of course, the efficiency of the Eredivisie or Bundesliga is much higher. However, it should be taken into account that in these championships the lion's share of goals occurs due to the defeat of outsiders Bayern and Ajax. In England, on the other hand, everyone and everything is scored. Therefore, in the AFL not only bets on totals and minus handicaps, but also on OZ. The opening round of the current season has confirmed this thesis. In 10 matches, 34 goals were scored (i.e. 3.4 on average), with both teams scoring in six of the meetings.
In most seasons, the top scorers break the 20-goal mark. The last championship is rather the exception to the rule, with only Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah managing to score more than 20 goals. The slightly reduced output can be attributed to COVID-19. Clubs had to rearrange their training process and players had to undergo constant tests.
Few fouls and yellow cards
One of the hallmarks of English referees is that they give a fight. This is a feature of European (and British in particular) football. If a player, going into the ball, knocks down an opponent, the referee is unlikely to give a foul. The same refereeing style was employed in the 2021/2022 Champions League qualifier between Shakhtar Donetsk and Monaco. The referee was Anthony Taylor from England. The Kharkiv public repeatedly lashed out at the referee when a Shakhtar player was lying on the pitch after a hard tackle.
A large number of yellow cards rarely occur. Even in meetings between clear favourites and underdogs, the latter defend at a high level. In 90% of cases fouls occur when a defender is unable to keep up with his opponent. There are simply no weak or slow players in England. A prime example is the Liverpool v Burnley match in round 2. The visitors were clear outsiders and defended for all 90 minutes. Despite this, there were 0 penalties in the meeting and Burnley committed only 12 fouls.
At the same time, the average number of red cards has increased in recent years. This is due to the advent of the VAR system, thanks to which referees have stopped allowing blatant rudeness.
Clubs are always motivated
Most football leagues end in a similar situation: the mid-table sides lose motivation by playing their last games with their sleeves down. They cannot compete for European competitions, nor can they be relegated. There is virtually no difference between 10th and 11th place from a financial point of view.
The situation is different in England. The English premier league sells billions of dollars worth of television rights every year. 25% of this amount is allocated to clubs based on their place in the table (the remaining 75% is allocated according to other criteria). Payments from TV to Premier League clubs in the 2018/2019 season were (£m):
- "Liverpool - 152,4
- "Manchester City" - 150,9
- "Chelsea" - 146
- "Tottenham" - 145,2
- "Manchester United" - 142,5
- "Arsenal" - 142,2
- "Everton" - 128,6
- "Wolverhampton" - 127,2
- "Leicester" - 123,3
- "West Ham" - 122,5
- "Newcastle" - 120.1
- "Crystal Palace" - 114,2
- "Watford" - 113,9
- "Bournemouth" 108.1
- "Burnley" - 107.3
- "Brighton" — 105.7
- "Southampton" - 104.3
- "Cardiff City" - 102,7
- "Fulham" - 101,9
- "Huddersfield" - 96,6
It's a struggle in every round of the English Premier League. The mediators never play at half strength, as a position higher up in the standings brings in millions of euros.
Successful EPL betting strategies
Based on these characteristics, there are several effective ways to bet on the English Premier League. It is unwise to bet TB(1.5) against Manchester City or Liverpool due to the low odds for such an outcome. One should therefore look for things of value, i.e. underrated events. In other words, the bettor must go against the opinions of bookmakers' analysts. In the long run, betting at inflated odds will ensure stable profits. Let's take a look at a few tricks.
Betting against "tired" favourites
England's top clubs are constantly playing in European competitions, reaching crucial stages. In the qualifiers or group stages of the UEFA Champions League and Conference League, the coaches often use a rotation. In any case, an extra match and flight (if the encounter is away) in the middle of the week takes a lot of energy out of the players. This will have a minimal impact on the odds.
At least one new entrant is a surprise
Not once in the 21st century have all three new players in the AFL been relegated to the Championship. At least one of these three new players has consistently performed well, sometimes qualifying for the top flight. Last season such a team was Leeds, who finished in a respectable ninth place, with a three point loss to promotion to the Conference League. In the final stage of the competition, Leeds beat Manchester City 2-1 and Tottenham 3-1, but also drew with Manchester United 0-0 and Liverpool 1-1.
English football fans have developed a strategy based on this: pick the strongest of the new players and bet on them throughout the season. You don't have to bet on wins, you can take handicap plus or individual totals, depending on the state of your opponent.