English Premier League (EPL) Structure

English Premier League(EPL) is the most-watched domestic leagues in the world. How well do you know EPL statistics and structure since inception?

Read through to find out.

1. Participating Teams

Only 20 teams from England participate in the competition. The 20 teams include teams that remained in the last premier league season after relegation and the newly promoted teams from the English Championship competition.

2. Mode of Play and Number of Matches Per Team 

Home and away matches for each team are the mode of play in the premier league. Therefore, each team plays with all the other 19 teams both at home and away. As a result, each team plays a total of 38 matches throughout the season.

3. Match Results and the Premier League Table 

For each match played, there are three possibilities and different points gained by the teams. First, the winning team gains three points.

Secondly, the losing team gets zero points. Finally, each team gains one point in case of a draw. Teams then accumulate points from each of the 38 games to rank in the EPL table.

4. Importance of Goal Difference in Premier League

As mentioned, teams accumulate points throughout the 38 matches of the premier league.Then, what happens when two teams tie by having the same points?

A tiebreaker comes into place. EPL uses goal difference as a tiebreaker at the end of the season.

What is the goal difference? It is simply the difference between the total Goals scored and total goals conceded.  Of course, the higher the goal difference, the better for the team.

Should any two teams finish the season with equal points in the table, the team with higher goal difference ranks higher in the table.

Consequently, EPL teams try to score as many goals as possible and conceded the least goals to improve their goal difference.

5. Premier League Table Position

EPL table at the end of the season is the most important concern of every team. Different positions mean a lot for teams despite not winning the league.

What happens when two teams tie by having the same points? A tiebreaker comes into place. The breaker is the goal difference.

The fifth team qualifies for the Europa League group stages. The sixth team stands a chance to qualify for the Europa League should the FA winner be in the top 4 positions.

As well, the seventh team may qualify for Europa League should the Carabao winner that season finishes among the first four teams.

6. Champions League Qualification (Top 4) 

Top 4, as is popularly known, is a very fierce battle for the premier league. Why so, the top four teams qualify for the UEFA Champions League in the following season.

In addition, the first team in the table wins the EPL trophy and financial award. Therefore, despite not winning the league, teams fiercely compete for the top four positions.

7. Europa League Qualification in Premier League

FIFA allocates England three slots in the Europa League competition. The slots are reserved for the fifth team in the Premier League, the FA Cup winner, and the Carabao Cup in that order unless otherwise explained in this article.

The fifth team and the FA winner directly join Europa League group stages. On the other hand, the Carabao Cup winner plays a two-legged playoff before proceeding to group stages.

5. Relegation in English Premier League

The last three teams in the EPL table at the end of the season are automatically relegated to Championship.

The determination is purely based on points or the goal difference in case two or the three last teams in the table tie points.

6. Promotion into Premier League

Only three teams from championship competition (level 2) are promoted to the premier league. However, only the first two teams in the Championship table are automatically promoted.

The third position is filled by the winner of the playoff. The playoff is played by teams that finish third, fourth, and fifth in the Championship table.

7. What happens when FA Winner finishes top four in the EPL?

The  FA cup slot goes to the sixth team in the premier league since the winner is already guaranteed a chance in the Champions League by finishing top four.

What happens when FA Winner does not finish top four in the EPL?

In 2017/2018, Chelsea won the FA cup against Manchester United but finished fifth. Chelsea was then guaranteed a Europa League position. The FA position went to Arsenal that finished sixth since Chelsea was the fifth team.

What happens when Carabao Cup Winner finishes top four in the EPL?

The Carabao Cup winner slot goes to the seventh team in the premier league. For example, in 2017/2018 Manchester City won both the Carabao Cup and the premier league. Therefore, Burnley joined the Europa league for finishing seventh in the premier league.


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