The 2017/2018 soccer season is not only the 26th season of the Premier League, but it is the 119th season of the English Football League in the soccer history of the country. The season began with Arsenal playing against Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on August 12, 2017. The match resulted in the score of 4:3 in favor of the home team. The season is scheduled to end on May 23, 2017.
Traditionally, 20 soccer teams participate in the season. Hull City, FC Middlesbrough and AFC Sunderland lost their positions in the Premier League in 2017. Having won the Championship, Newcastle United along with Brighton & Hove Albion, who settled on the second position, secured their spots in the Premier League. Huddersfield Town became the third newcomer to the League after defeating FC Reading in the play-off final.
Seven Premier League teams have entered the international arena this season. Chelsea, the champion, as well as Tottenham and Manchester City, occupying the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively, directly qualified for the Champions League. The sixth-placed Manchester United was allowed to participate in the Champions League as the Europa League winner. The 4th place of Liverpool granted it the ticket to the Champions League qualification. The live bets on the Champions League stages will be accepted right after the match kick-off. Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham were dropped out from the last 16. Being the FA Cup winner, Arsenal has directly qualified for the Europa League. Since Manchester United, the Carabao Cup champions, did not need the Europa League qualification, the possibility was passed on to Everton (7th place). However, Everton failed to reach the play-off stage and the fans were not given the chance to bet on the favorite team.
Manchester City is a heavy favorite of the current season. Under Pep Guardiola’s guidance, the team knows almost no defeats as it has a strong attack and a reliable defense. The number of games won and points earned speak for their evident advantage in the Premier League. Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal are the closest rivals that constantly change their positions at the top of the standings, that’s why the betting odds on the vice-champion vary dynamically.
The beginning of the season was particularly bad for Everton. They managed to leave the 18th position only after the 11th round. Risking to be eliminated, the teams’ positions in the standing are constantly changing. Online bets on the teams that will be leaving the Premier League in the current season are still accepted. Swansea seems to have managed to overcome the crisis, the team left the last position in the tournament table, where it settled after the 15th round. Crystal Palace succeeded in climbing up the standings, but then returned again to the relegation zone. Sports betting amateurs are concerned with the question whether the Londoners will be able to gain the sufficient number of points in order not to be dropped out. Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion are currently struggling to keep their positions in the Premier League.
Manchester City is not only the current season leader but also the strongest team in terms of their home and away matches performance. Manchester United and Arsenal boast a number of home victories as well. Along with Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool demonstrate their high level performance in away matches.
Mohamed Salah from Liverpool, Harry Kane from Tottenham and Sergio Agüero from Manchester City are competing for the top goalscorer’s title. These three strikers have almost equal odds for the title, which makes the football betting on the top scorer even more involving. Another great Premier League scorers are Raheem Sterling from Manchester City, Jamie Vardy from Leicester, Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United, Roberto Firmino from Liverpool and other players.
Premier League Facts
The Premier League is the highest level of the English soccer leagues system. Undoubtedly, it is considered the most popular championship worldwide. Millions of soccer fans follow the exciting tournament with 20 best English teams in play. The season lasts from August till May. The clubs do not only compete for the champion’s title, but for a place in the Champions League and the Europa League.
The modern-day English Premier League was founded on February 20, 1992. In August of that year, the first Premier League season kicked off – it substituted the First Division. Though the prerequisites for establishing a new league date as far back as to the 1980’s, when English soccer was in a difficult economic situation. The state of the sports stadiums left much to be desired and the tournament's prestige had fallen sharply – both among fans and at sports betting offices. Taylor Report was developed as means of getting out of the occurred situation. This document was to ensure the safety of spectators at the stadiums. Moreover, the TV broadcast funds became a complementary financing source. The investments increase resulted in the stadiums' renovations and lifting of the UEFA ban on the English clubs’ participation in international tournaments.
22 clubs took part in the 1992/1993 debut season. The beginning of the tournament was commemorated with the match between Sheffield United and Manchester United. The first English Premier League match was in the betting slip.
Next year the International Football Association insisted on reducing the number of participants down to 20, thus, in accordance with the season results, 4 clubs left the League and only 2 went further. In summer 2006, FIFA offered to reduce the number of participants one more time, but it was rejected. Apart from the English clubs, the Welsh teams can partake in the Premier League. There is a possibility that the Scottish teams will also be allowed to participate in the future.
Every season 20 clubs play two matches each against their rivals – one home match and one away. The overall quantity of games held from August till May – 38. There is no provision for a winter break. The fact whether the team is in a top form or not affects the odds on the current leg. The places in the standings are determined by the points gained. While playing in the Premier League, the three-point system is applied where 3 points are awarded for a victory. The team gains one point for a draw; in the case of a loss, the team earns no points. The difference between the goals scored and conceded affects the placement in the standings of the teams with equal points. If the above-mentioned index is equal, then the number of goals scored is taken into consideration. When a question of championship or qualification for the team with equal results arises, then play-off matches are held, however, that rule has never been applied.
With the end of a season four best clubs are qualified for the Champions League. The team on the 5th place will play in the Europa League. If the winners of the FA Cup and the Football League are among the top five, then the teams on places 6 and 7 are allowed to participate in the Europa League. Three clubs which settled at the bottom of the standings move down to the Championship. The Championship's top two teams replace them and the third newcomer is determined in the play-off matches among the teams on the 3rd-6th places in the standings. Play-off matches are the most popular for live betting.
Overall 45 teams have taken part in the Premier League since August 1992. The record holder is Manchester United, which has been titled for 13 times. Chelsea won the Championship 5 times, Arsenal - thrice and Manchester City - twice. By the way, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester also won the League title once. Placing bets on the current season's champion and vice-champion is available for fans at any time.
Alan Shearer, with 260 goals scored, holds the first position in the list of top finishers. The second place belongs to Wayne Rooney (208 goals), who currently plays for Everton. Therefore, bets can be made on whether Rooney will be able to break the record of Shearer during his soccer career. The list is continued by Andrew Cole (187 goals), Frank Lampard (177 goals) and Thierry Henry (175 goals).