BigFreeTips provides free football betting tips on all international football leagues. We provide tips and predictions for each match, with detailed statistics (past season, current season, points, head2head) so that you have the previous match data to make the best betting predictions and decisions. The football predictions provided are for full-time correct scores, enabling you to bet on a number of markets.
Most Popular Football Tips
You will be able to see the most popular football tips as we provide these free. This takes into account all tips being looked at and voted on so that you can see what other punters are looking at and betting on.
Below you can find the list of the main football leagues we provide tips for.
English Premier League
The English Premier League is the top tier league in England and is by far the most popular league not only in Europe but in the world with its viewership reaching all the corners of the world in 188 countries. The league is made up of a total of 20 premier league teams who each play a total of 38 matches in a round robin format in order to determine the league champion. The league champion is the team which ends with a total number of points at the end of the season, if the season ends in a tie, goal difference, goals scored and even a play-off will be used to determine the champion in that order. Teams do not only fight for the title in this league, three teams with the lowest number of points will be relegated at the end of the season whilst three teams will be promoted to the Premier League from the Championship so bottom teams will be fighting it out to avoid being relegated to the Championship division. Four top teams at the end of the season qualify for the UEFA Champions League and the fifth placed team automatically qualifies for the Europa League, and teams will battle it out for a chance to be part of the European competitions so there is never a dull moment in this league.
The Premier league takes place between August and May the following year for a total of 380 matches. The points for a single match are allocated in this way, three points are awarded for a win, one point for a draw and none for a defeat. The most successful team in the Premier League is Manchester United with a total of 13 titles in 25 seasons but they have failed to lift the title since the great Sir Alex Ferguson left the club. Of all the teams that have played in the Premier League, only Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are yet to be relegated. The top five or the big five in this league is made up of Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Chelsea FC, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, but a lot of Arsenal fans will undoubtedly argue with that as they strongly believe that they should be part of that lineup.
The 2018/19 season was an exciting one as the league was decided on the final day with Manchester City beating Liverpool to the title by a single point, it is also important to note that English teams were also successful in European competitions with Liverpool winning the UEFA Champions League and Chelsea winning the UEFA Europa League. Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town and Fulham were relegated to the championship after ending the season as the three bottom placed teams. This season has been far less competitive at the top with Liverpool holding a massive 25 point lead over second placed Manchester City and it would take a footballing miracle for Liverpool to miss out on the title. Manchester City are quite certain to finish in the top four whilst teams like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City and Wolves are still fighting for a fourth placed finish. Aston Villa, Norwich City and Bournemouth currently occupy the buttom three places but they all have a mathematical chance of survival. The 2019/20 season has been badly affected by the Covid 19 pandemic which has seen the league postponed for 2 months and the league is now likely going to return in June under closed doors.
2. Champions League
The UEFA Champions league is a European club competition and one of the world’s most prestigious club competitions which attracts the attention of millions of viewers from all over the world. Being a European competition, the UEFA Champions League is contested only by teams from top division leagues from all European countries like EPL, Serie A, Ligue 1, La Liga and the Bundesliga. The term ‘Champions’ does not entail that only the top teams participates but in elite leagues like the EPL and La Liga, the top four teams qualify for this prestigious showpiece. The UEFA Champions League was officially launched in the 1955/56 season as European Cup and has evolved over the years from being a 16 team tournament and now it features a total number of 78 clubs from the preliminary stage right up to the group stages. The UEFA Champions league is held annually and it starts in June with the preliminary stages where teams who do not meet the qualifying requirements participate in preliminary qualifying matches in order to get a spot in the UEFA Champions League group stages were they will be grouped together with teams which would have qualified automatically.
The teams that finish as Champions from their respective leagues automatically qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages. In highly ranked leagues like the EPL , Serie A and La Liga, the teams that finish in the top four will participate in the Champions League with the top three getting an automatic entry and the fourth placed team going through the preliminary route, the leagues are ranked based on their Champions League performances from the previous seasons . The group stage matches take place between September and December where the teams are grouped into eight groups of four teams where they play each other home and away in a round robin format. At the end of the group stages in December, the top two sides in each of the 8 groups will qualify for the knockout stages whilst the third-placed team is relegated to the UEFA Europa League in the knockout stage. The Champions league then commences in February at the last 16 stage, followed by the quarter finals and semi finals before the final which is played in May at a venue selected almost two years in advance. In the knockout phases of the competition, the two teams play each other home and away to determine the team which will qualify for the next stage of the competition, If the teams are tied by having the same number of points, rules for away goals rule , extra time and even penalty shootouts will be applied to determine the team to go to the next stage. The final takes place in June after all the European leagues are over.
The most successful team in the history of the competition is Real Madrid with a record 13 UEFA Champions League titles and also being the only team to have won it in three consecutive seasons under Zinedine Zidane from the 2015/16 to 2017/18 seasons. Zinedine Zidane’s success in this competition is not only in terms of coaching, but he is also one of the most successful players in this competition together with the likes of Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Samuel Etoo, Cristiano Ronaldo amongst other players who have performed exceptionally over the years.
The 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season was very exciting with a lot of unforgettable matches. Who can forget the match between Real Madrid and Ajax were the Ajax youngsters ran riot at the Bernabau or the quarter final match between Manchester City Tottenham which was marred by VAR controversy. This was one of the most eventful and intriguing Champions League season. At the start of the season nobody would have predicted that Ajax would reach the semi finals but they blew away teams with their exciting brand of football and big teams like Juventus and Real Madrid could not handle the youthful Ajax side. On the other hand, Barcelona which was tipped as the favourites to win threw away a healthy 3-0 lead only to lose 4-0 at Anfield to eventual winners Liverpool who beat Tottenham Hotspur in an all English title to lift their sixth title.The current campaign has been exciting as well but it has been heavily affected by Covid 19 and it is only expected to return under closed doors. Currently Atletico Madrid, PSG, Atalanta and RB Leipzig have already qualified for the last eight whilst Chelsea, Bayern, Napoli, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Lyon and Juventus still have to play the second leg to determine the teams who make up the last 8.
3. Europa League
The UEFA Europa League is a very popular European competition which is viewed worldwide. The league which was formerly known as the UEFA Cup is the second tier club competition in Europe after the UEFA Champions League. By virtue of being less prestigious than the Champions League, the Europa League does not attract the same attention as the Champions League and is often home to the less talented or mid table teams but the Europa League remains a very good alternative to the UEFA Champions League. The UEFA Europa league spots start where the Champions League end, that is to say the Europa League is for teams who fall shot of a champions league place, for example the top four teams at the end of the season automatically qualify for the next season’s Champions League whilst the fifth placed team and the FA Cup winner will participate in the Europa League.
The Europa League starts with a preliminary stage where teams are expected to battle it out for a place in the group stages of the competition. The preliminary round is played between June and July where teams are drawn into two-legged home-and-away ties and these matches must be played before European Leagues start in August. The Europa league group stages begin in September up to December where the league will take a long break only to resume in February the following year. 48 teams in the Europa League make up 12 groups of four teams, with each team playing everyone else in that group on a home and away basis. At the end of the group stages in December, the top two teams in each group, plus the eight third-placed teams who depart from the UEFA Champions League group stage, form the round of 32 knockout stage. In the knockout stages, teams will play each other twice home and away in order to determine the winner and the team with more points that the other will proceed to the next stage. If the teams are tied at the end of both legs, away goals rule and even penalty shootouts will be employed to determine the winner. The knockout stages will continue until the final which is played at a predetermined venue.
There is a huge incentive of winning the Europa League because a team which wins the competition will earn an automatic entry into the Champions League. Also the winner of the Europa league will take part in the UEFA Super Cup match which is played between the Champions League winners and the Europa League winner just before the commencement of domestic European leagues. Sevilla is the most successful team in the history of the competition having won it five times and what is also impressive is the manner in which they won their titles because they won back to back titles in 2006 and 2007 and they won it for three consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2016.
Chelsea FC are the current Europa League holders after beating Arsenal in an all-English final played in May 2019 but they will not be able to defend their title because they are not participants in this year’s Europa League campaign. The 2019/20 season is at the last 16 stage with matches having been postponed due to Covid 19 but teams like Manchester United, Wolves, Inter Milan and Sevilla are the hot favourites to win the title, last season’s finalists Arsenal FC were already eliminated in the last 32 stage.
4. La Liga
La Liga is the Spanish top tier league which was founded over 90 years ago in the year 1929. The league is very famous due to the fact that it is home to arguably the most famous and most successful teams in Europe in the form of Real Madrid and Barcelona. La Liga is referred to as the Liga Santander for commercial reasons because Santander is the main sponsor of the league, it was previously known as liga BBVA before Santander came into the picture. The league is seen as the most technical leagues in the world and many believe that the quality of football from Spain is far superior than the other leagues which are highly tactical and more physical.
The league is made up of a total of twenty teams ,with each team playing 19 home matches and 19 away matches against all teams in the division and the team with the most number of points at the end of each season will be crowned champions. There is more to play for in La Liga than just winning the title, the league operates on a relegation and promotion basis and teams will be fighting to survive relegation. Besides the relegation battles, teams will also be aiming for UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League spots so there is a lot to fight for in this league and it is a very competitive league.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are the most successful teams in Spain and they are so dominant that in most cases if one of them doesn’t win the title, the other does and this has made people to suggest that this league is not very competitive but it is actually very competitive, the only thing that makes these two teams superior is their financial muscle which allows them to spend ridiculous amounts of money to bring the best players into their teams like the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard, Neymar , Suarez, Dembele, Coutinho and Griezzmann just to mention but a few. In total Real Madrid have won the La Liga for a record 33 times followed by Barcelona with 26 titles.
La Liga also have some cups like the Copa del rey which is a hugely competitive cup in Spain and is played not only by the teams in La Liga, but even the teams in the lower leagues like the Segunda division. By virtue of being a top league in Europe, La Liga has four spots for the Champions League and two spots for Europa league, this is so because the league has been successful in these European leagues and it can change if they start producing poor results in Europe, which is however highly unlikely.
La Liga teams are dominant in both the Champions League and the Europa League. Real Madrid have a total of 13 Champions League titles having recently won the Champions League for a record three consecutive times, a feat that was matched by Sevilla in Europa League from 2014 to 2016, so it is evident that Spain is a dominant force in club football. Additionally, the El Classico match between Real Madrid and Barcelona is the most watched soccer match in the world. La Liga has some of the biggest stadiums in the world and the average attendance for a single match in La Liga is 27 000, which shows that this league is very popular.
Whilst Real Madrid might be the most successful team in Spain in terms of their league title wins, Barcelona have been dominating since the new millennium and this has been attributed to the great work done by Johan Cruyff at La Masia. Barcelona are the current La Liga holders after beating a Diego Simeone led Atletico Madrid to the title. Every season Barcelona and Real Madrid are the favourites to win the league and it is the case for the 2019/20 season because Barcelona are a strong team and Real Madrid have strengthened their team with some exciting players including Eden Hazard. La Liga introduced Video Assistant Referee and it has received mixed reactions from the soccer fraternity, but it looks like VAR is here to stay and people must get used to it.
The 2019/20 season has been a tight affair with the leaders Barcelona being separated by only two points with second placed Real Madrid, there is still a number of matches to play and the league could go either way. It will be interesting to see how teams will perform after the league resumes in June.
The German Bundesliga is a German top professional football league which was founded in the year 1962 with the first Bundesliga season starting only a year later in 1963. The Bundesliga is a force to be reckoned with in Europe as it forms part of the famed ‘big five’ leagues in Europe. The league is host to a number of popular European teams like Bayern Munich, Borrusia Dortmund, Mainz amongst others.
Unlike other leagues with a total of 20 teams, the Bundesliga has eighteen teams competing for the Bundesliga title each and every season and all the 18 teams will play each other home and away in a round robin format and the team that finishes with more points that the rest will be crowned champions. The most successful team in this division is Bayern Munich with a total of 29 titles whilst Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach come in at a distant second with five titles each and it will be a while before anyone catches the great Bayern Munich in terms of titles.
Bungesliga operates on a promotion and relegation basis where the two teams with the least number of points at the end of the season will be relegated to the Bundesliga 2 which is the second tier football league in German, these teams will be replaced by the top two teams in the Bundesliga 2. It is interesting to note that every team in Bundesliga has been relegated at some point. A bundesliga season starts in August and ends in May, there is a winter break between December and January when the players are given a period to rest and be with their families during the festive season.
Being a European league, Bundesliga teams participate in European competitions and Bundesliga has three automatic spots for the Champions league and the top three teams qualify automatically for UEFA Champions League, but the forth placed team goes through a qualifying round to book a place at the Group Stages of the prestigious European competition. Bayern Munich and Borrussia Dortmund have always made it into Europe due to their dominance in Bundesliga. The sides finishing fifth and sixth in the Bundesliga standings, in addition to the DFB Cup winners, will gain access to the Europa League.
Bundesliga has also seen some of the best players plying their trade in Germany like Arjen Robben, Frank Ribbery, Thomas Muller, Robert Lewandowski amongst others and the host of these superstars play for Bayern Munich due to their financial muscle and this has contributed to their dominance winning 7 titles on the trot. Last season Borrusia Dortmund seemed as if they were going to be crowned Bundesliga champions because they started the season really well but they fizzled out as the season went on only for the bavarians to steal it from them and the bookmakers are tipping Bayern Munich to win it again in the 2019/20 season.
6. Ligue 2
Ligue 2 is a French league the French second level division which was formerly called Division 2 and was renamed Ligue 2 in 2002 as part of a restructure. Ligue 2 is ranked lower than Ligue 1 and the top three teams at the end of the season Ligue 2 season will earn a promotion to Ligue 1 and three lowest teams are relegated to Championnat National, which is the French third division. The French Ligue 2 is also referred to as Domino’s Ligue 2 because Domino’s Pizza is the league’s main pizza. Ligue 2 is made up of 20 teams which compete primarily to earn promotion into Ligue 1 and the competition is very stiff in this league. The team which finishes top of the league at the end of the season wins the title plus Ligue 1 automatic promotion. Ligue 2 season runs from August to May, each time plays all the teams in the division home and away in a round robin format.
If at the end of the season, teams have the same amount of points the goal difference are taken into account, if still teams have equal result, teams stay at one position but a play-off will be played in case of determining promotion or relegation. Three points are awarded for a win , one point for a draw and no points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference and then goals scored. Unlike other popular leagues, Ligue 2 matches are mostly played on Friday’s and Monday’s and there is a break during the festive season in December and January.
Being a second division, Ligue 2 does not have a spots allocated for them for European competitions but Ligue 2 teams can qualify for the UEFA Europa league if they win the domestic knockout competition. Three teams which were promoted to Ligue 1 last season are Metz, Brest and Troyes, with Metz having been promoted as the Ligue 2 champions. Caen, Guingamp and Dijon were relegated to Ligue two after finishing the season as the buttom three teams. Relegated teams are always odds on favourite to win Ligue 2 but there are no guarantees in this league because it is a highly competitive league. The French soccer season was declared over because of the COVID-19 pandemic and now Ligue 2 promotion and relegation issues are yet to be decided.
7. French Ligue 1
The French Ligue 1 is the French top tier football league which was previously known as Division 1. Division 1 was formed in 1932 and was later renamed Ligue 1 in 2002 and it is one of the most elite leagues in the world which is part of the ‘big five’ together with EPL, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga. The Ligue 1 comprises of 20 top flight teams who battle it out for the league title. A total of 380 matches will be played over the course of the season with each team playing 38 matches home and away against each team in the division. Three points are awarded for a win, one point is awarded for a draw and there are no points awarded for a loss.
The team with the total number of points at the end of the season will be declared the champion , if at the end of the season the number of points is equal, the goal difference and then goals scored will be used to determine the winner. If teams are still tied after all these options have been considered, the teams are deemed to occupy the same position but there has to be a play-off to determine the winner in the case of a championship and relegation decider. Three buttom teams at the end of the season are relegated to Ligue 2, which is the second division in French football, on the other hand, three top teams from Ligue 2 are promoted to Ligue 1 to replace the relegated teams.
St Etienne is the most successful team in Ligue 1 with a total of 10 titles, Marseille are second with 9 titles and PSG are third with 8 if you follow world football, you would know that it is only a matter of time before PSG overtakes St Ettiene to be the most successful team in France. Ligue 1 has seen some impressive teams which were even competitive in European competitions like AS Monaco, PSG, St Etienne, Lyon and Marseille. In recent times , PSG has been by far the most successful and richest team in France boasting of stars like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Di Maria and they have suddenly become a force to be reckoned with in the European Champions League.
What PSG has been doing for French football cannot be overlooked because by bringing the biggest stars in world football right now, they are in a way putting Ligue 1 into the limelight because these stars have a huge following and right now more and more people are becoming interested in Ligue 1.Ligue 1 cannot compare with the likes of EPL and La Liga in terms of revenue and that is why most teams with the exception of PSG have failed to keep their stars as they will seek greener pastures in other leagues like the Epl and La Liga or even go to ply their trade in the Chinese league where they can pocket even thrice the amount they make in France.
Ligue 1 has been allocated three spots in the UEFA Champions League with the top two teams proceeding directly to the group phase whilst the third placed team entering the group stages via a qualifying round. There are three slots for the UEFA Europa League as well, the fourth-placed team automatically qualifies for the UEFA Europa League and the other two Europa League places are determined through the two domestic cup competitions. Last season PSG won the title and they were on their way to win it again before the league was postponed due to Covid 19.
8. Serie A
Serie A is the top league in Italy and was at one point the best league in the world and was made popular by the success of teams like AC Milan, Juventus, AS Roma and Internazionale in European competitions. Serie A has been in existence since 1939 and it is one of the ‘big five’ football teams in the world. Serie A consists of 20 teams from different parts of Italy. Each team plays a total of 38 teams, 19 home and 19 away in a round-robin format and the team with the most points at the end of the season will win the title which is referred to as the Scudetto.
A Serie A season is divided into two parts , there is the first half of the season, called the andata, where each team plays a total of 19 matches after which there will be a break. After the break comes the second half of the season, called the ritorno, where each and every team plays an additional 19 games. If two teams are tied on points, there are tie breakers in place to choose the winner, firstly head-to-head record come into play followed by the goal difference and if the teams cannot be separated then goals scored will be used.
Serie A has four spots for the Champions League with the three best teams automatically going to the group stage and the fourth team will have to go through the preliminary stages of qualification. Europa League spots are awarded to teams finishing fifth and sixth with the third Europa League spot reserved for the winner of the Coppa Italia.
At the end of each Serie A season, the bottom three clubs are relegated to Serie B whilst these clubs are replaced by the three top-ranked teams at the end of the Serie B season. The Europa league spots and the battle for survival makes Serie A a very competitive and unpredictable league and results can go either way in this league.
Serie A is a highly tactical league and Italian teams are known for their defensive qualities and you will not find many high scoring matches in this division. Quite a number of big star players have played in Serie A like Zidane, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Pogba and more recently Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Cristiano Ronaldo move to Juventus has seen more attention being placed on Serie A because he is the best of his generation. Juventus has dominated the league for some time now with a total of 35 league titles, and have won it in eight consecutive seasons since the 2011-12 season, a feat that will be difficult to match. AC Milan and Internazionale have won the league 18 times and basically these three teams are the face of Italian football.
Serie A teams have not been successful in European competitions in recent years because Inter Milan are the last team to win the UEFA Champions League in 2010, Juventus have been in the UCL final in 2015 and 2017 but have failed to win in both occasions, even the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo was not enough as they were booted out of the competition last season by a youthful Ajax Amsterdam team.Juventus are the odds on favourite to win the scudetto again in the 2019/20 season because they are such a strong team, Inter Milan are also a team to watch out for after the acquisition of Antonio Conte as their new manager.
9. Bundesliga 2
The Bundesliga 2 is the second tier division in German football after the Bundesliga. Germany has three full professional leagues which are governed by the German Football Association which is the national governing body. The elite league in Germany is called the Bundesliga whilst the second-tier division is the Bundesliga 2. The Bundesliga 2 teams qualify for the annual German Cup competition which is named the DFB Pokal, and is considered the 2nd most important club trophy in German football.
The Bundesliga 2 league is made up of 18 teams who will play each other twice in a round-robin format for a total of 306 matches over the course of the league. Winning a match results in a team being awarded three points, a draw will see both teams getting a point each whilst a loss gets nothing.
The top two teams from the Bundesliga 2 at the end of each season will earn automatic promotion into the Bundesliga whilst the third placed team enters a playoff with the team that finished sixteenth in the Bundesliga, the winner from the playoff will be part of the Bundesliga in the following season.
The most successful clubs in the history of Bundesliga 2 are FC Nürnberg and SC Freiburg having won the championship a record four times. FC Nürnberg are the only team to have been promoted to the Bundesliga more times than any other club for a record seven times. This is however a bad record in a way because it means that they have been relegated several times from the Bundesliga.
Currently Bielefeld, Stuttgart and Hamburg make up the Bundesliga 2 top three with Bielefeld leading but the fight is still on and all these teams must avoid any slip ups because the chasing pack is within touching distance. Last season FC Köln, SC Paderborn and Union Berlin were promoted to the Bundesliga, FC Köln and Union Berlin will likely survive relegation but SC Paderborn are currently the buttom placed team and the odds on favourites to be relegated. Of the teams relegated from the Bundesliga last season, VfB Stuttgart are the ones likely to be promoted back into the Bundesliga.
10. England Championship
The English Championship which also known in some circles as the Football League Championship is England’s second tier soccer division which comes after the Premier League. The England Football Championship is sponsored by Sky Bet and is the richest second tier league in the world, what makes this league amazing is that most elite European leagues do not match the financial muscle of this league being the 8th richest league in Europe.
The England Championship is a 24 team league which makes it one of the biggest in terms of the number of teams because the average number of teams in a league is 20. The league operates on a relegation and promotion system whereby three top teams get promoted into the premier league whereas three buttom placed teams are relegated to the League 1. What this means is that there is a turnover of 6 new teams into the league each and every season. The two top teams at the end of a Championship season are automatically promoted to the Premier League whilst the teams that finish the season in 3rd to 6th place will take part in a tournament to decide the third team to be promoted to the premier league. The play-off involves a two legged semi-final that takes place home and away, after that the remaining two teams will compete for the final play off place at Wembley Stadium. In addition to earning a promotion, the team which finishes top will be crowned champions.
The Championship league is too good to be a second tier league because the infrastructure is top class as the stadium and training facilities of most clubs from this division are world class. The league is also very competitive because the league attracts good players from all over the world and the desire to be promoted into the premier league makes this league a very competitive one as all the teams want to play in the premier league. Unlike other second tier leagues which do not have a following, the English Championship is very popular and the stadiums are always packed to capacity whilst millions watch from home.
Championship usually begins in the first week of August right up to mid May where a total of 552 matches will be played. Each of the 24 teams plays twice against each other in a round robin format home and away resulting in each team competing in a total 46 league games. Points for matches are distributed in this way, three points are awarded for a win, a draw sees both teams getting a point and a loss does not get any point.
The 2018/19 season was very exciting with some memorable matches in the Championship, Norwich City were crowned champions at the end of the season after they had an impressive season, Sheffield United finished second and they also earned automatic promotion alongside the winners. Aston Villa were promoted via a play-off beating a Frank Lampard led Derby County at the Wembley Stadium. Currently, Leeds United are leading with the charts but competition is very tight at the top and it is very difficult to predict which teams will be promoted to the league because all the teams in the top 10 have a mathematical chance of getting a promotion.
11. England League 1
The League One which is known as Sky Bet League 1 because of their sponsorship is the second highest division in the Football League after the Championship. It is also the third highest league in England, this is so because the Premier League, which is the most elite league in England is a separate entity from the Football League. The League One was previously known as the Football League Second Division before it was changed in the year 2004.
The league is not as prestigious as the Championship and the Premier League, the infrastructure in terms of stadiums is not that great but there are a few exceptional cases like when Sunderland were relegated to this league. The quality of football and players is also not great as the league is full of players who would have failed to make the grade in the tiers above the League 1, the other reason is that most Championship teams recruit most of their players from this league. It is however unfair to look at this league in comparison with the other leagues.
The Football League 1 division consists of a total of 24 clubs who each play a total of 46 matches in a round robin format where each team plays each other once at home and once at the other club’s home. A total of 552 league matches are played in a regular season but teams from this division also participate in the FA Cup. Three points are awarded if a team wins their game and a point is awarded to each team if they draw. If a team loses they will get nothing. The team which finishes with the most number of points will be crowned league 1 champions and will be automatically promoted to the league together with second placed team. The clubs that finished between the third and sixth position will have to participate in play-offs to determine the third team to be promoted. The four buttom placed clubs at the end of the season are relegated to League Two.
League one standings at the end of the season are determined based on a set criteria, firstly they look at points obtained,then goal difference, then goals scored and then they also look at the aggregate of the results between clubs until a winner has been found. The 2018/19 saw Luton Town, Barnsley, Charlton Athletic being promoted to the Championship, Luton Town was crowned champions and was automatically promoted with Barnsley who finished agonisingly second with just a three point deficit. Third placed Charlton Athletic had to do it the hard way and they only got promoted after a play-off with Portsmouth, Sunderland and Doncaster Rovers. Plymouth, Walsall, Scunthorpe and Bradford City were relegated to England League 2.
12. England League 2
League Two is the third division of the football league and the fourth highest league in the country overall. The Football League Two was previously known as Football League Third Division until 2004–05 season where the name was changed. The League 2 cannot compare to any division in England in terms of organisation, infrastructure, players and funding and it is every teams wish to push for a promotion into the Football League 1 which is an upgrade from the league 2.
The league has a total number of 24 clubs who each plays a total of 46 league matches in a single season, 23 home matches and 23 away matches against all the teams in the division. The teams will also take part in the FA Cup against teams from other divisions like the Premier League and the Championship. For a single match, three points are awarded for a win, one point is awarded for a draw and no points for a loss.
The league operates on a promotion and relegation basis where top three teams are promoted to the Football League 1 whilst the two buttom placed teams are relegated to the National League. What happens in terms of promotion is that at the end of the season, the top three teams will automatically be promoted to League 1 whilst the fourth team to be promoted will be chosen via play-offs which are played between the fourth up to seventh placed teams. At the end of the season, league position are determined by points obtained, goal difference and goals scored in that order.
In the 2018/19 season Lincoln City were crowned champions after finishing the league with the highest number of points and they were automatically promoted into the League 1 together with Bury and MK Dons. Tranmere Rovers was the fourth team to be promoted after a play-off which they won after they had initially finished 6th. Notts County and Yeovil were unfortunately relegated to the National League
13. Serie B
The Serie B, also known as the Italian 2nd Division, is the second football division league in Italy after the Serie A. The league was founded in the 1929–30 season almost 80 years to date. The league is also popularly known as campionato cadetto and cadetteria. At the bend of the season the team with the most points will be crowned champions and will be promoted to the Serie A, whilst the ultimate goal is promotion to the Serie A, it is very important to do it in style with a title. The Serie B title which is awarded to the champion is called Ali della Vittoria which is 63 cm high and weighs 5 kg.
The league operates on a promotion and relegation basis where a total of three teams who finish in the top three are promoted to the Serie A whilst four buttom placed teams are relegated to Serie C. In terms of promotion, the top two teams are automatically promoted to the Serie A and If the 3rd-placed team is leading the fourth placed team with a minimum of 10 , it is automatically promoted otherwise there will be a playoff tournament to determine the third team that will be promoted. In the relegation zone, the three last-placed teams are automatically relegated to the Serie C. the 17th placed team will only be automatically relegated If the 65th-placed team is 5 or more points ahead of them, if not, there will be a play-off to determine the fourth team to be relegated.
In a complete Serie B season. each team plays a total of 38 games in a round robin format which means that they will play home and away matches against every opponent. The first half of the season is called andata where each team plays once against all its opponents and the second half of the season is called ritorno where the reverse fixtures will be played in the exact same order.
The teams that were promoted into the Serie A for the 2019/20 season were Brescia, Lecce and Hellas Verona who earned promotion via a play-off which was played on 2 June. Currently Benevento are leading the Serie B standings with a 20 point gap at the top with a +39 goal difference and they look certain to be promoted. After that the competition is very stiff as teams are only separated by a few points so it is very difficult to predict who will earn promotion to the Serie A.
14. Euro 2021
The UEFA Euros Tournament is a prestigious quadrennial tournament which is held between all the member countries of the Union of European Football Associations popularly known as UEFA. The European Championship is the elite continental tournament in Europe which showcases some of the best football from European teams like Spain, Netherlands, England, Germany amongst other nations.
The UEFA Euros tournament started in the year 1960 and has seen a huge transformation since its inaugural year because the first edition of the UEFA European Championship only included four teams but the tournament has been expanded with more teams and currently 24 teams take part in this tournament. In 1960 the Euro final tournament consisted of four teams, but it expanded to eight teams in 1980 it also expanded to 16 teams in 1996 and right now there are 24 teams so this tournament has really evolved.
Germany and Spain are the two most successful nations in the history of the tournament having won it three times each, but Spain’s record is even more impressive because they achieved a feat which no team has managed as they won back to back titles in 2008 and 2012. This tournament has a rich history and there has been some memorable and historic moments over the years.
The UEFA Euros tournament is not only popular in Europe but its popularity reaches all the corners of the world. In the 2016 edition of the tournament, the total live audience viewership for the whole tournament was a staggering 2 billion viewers which was a rise of about 100 million from the 2012 tournament. The final match alone between Portugal and France attracted a 600 million viewers from all over the world.
The 2021 tournament will follow the same format which was used in 2016, In the last edition, the group stage included six groups, which two or three teams each did advance from, this drew a lot of criticism with some suggesting that the tournament was not as competitive as other tournaments. The knockout stage consisted of round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final where Portugal lifted the trophy after beating the hosts 1 nil in extra time thanks to a goal by unsung hero Eder.
In order to qualify for the Euro finals , a team must finish in one of the qualifying spots or win a play-off match which is used to decide who qualifies amongst the teams who would have missed the qualification spots. The groups for qualification are drawn by a UEFA committee using seeding where teams are ranked based on their performance in the preceding FIFA World Cup qualifying and the last European Championship qualifying or if they are the defending champions.
As is the norm with most leagues, the points awarded for a win is three points, one for a draw, and none for a loss. If it so happens that one or more teams have an equal number of points after all matches have been played, there is a criteria in place to distinguish the side which will go through.
i) Superior goal difference
ii) Higher number of goals scored
iii) Higher number of goals scored away from home
iv) Fair play conduct.
v) Drawing of lots.
At this point it is very difficult to predict the team to win the Euro 2021 tournament because there is quite a huge number of talented teams right now like Belgium, Netherlands, England, France amongst other teams and all these have what it takes to lift the European title. You can look forward to watching some of the best talents in world football like Mbappe, Hazard, De Bruyne, Pogba, Ronaldo amongst other superstars.
15. Holland Eredivisie
The Holland Eredivisie is the highest and most prestigious soccer leagues in the Netherlands and this league was made popular by the great Ajax team which featured the likes of Johan Cryff and blew teams away with an exciting brand of football. The current Ajax squad is bringing back those memories as they are attracting the world’s attention with exciting football and a host of young talent.
The league was founded in the year 1956, which is two years after the start of professional football in the Netherlands in 1954. The league starts in August up to May the following year and is contested by 18 clubs who all play a total of 306 matches in a round robin format which means that every team will play each other twice home and away during the season. The team which finishes top of the league at the end of the season will win the championship and will earn a berth in the UEFA Champions League, other teams in the Eredivisie will enter European competitions via a play-off due to the fact that the league is no longer rated the way it was earlier.
The club which ends at the bottom of the Eredivisie division is automatically relegated to the Eerste divisie and they will be replaced with the champions of the Eerste divisie. The next two clubs from the bottom of the Eredivisie go to separate promotion/relegation play-offs for a chance to retain their Eredivisie spot. The most successful team in the Eredivisie is Ajax Amsterdam with a total of 34 national titles. PSV Eindhoven are a distant second with 24 titles whilst Feyenoord have 15 titles, these three are known as the ‘Big Three’ of Dutch football.
Last season Ajax beat PSV to the title but it was closely fought. Unfortunately the 2019/20 Eredivisie season was cancelled following the Dutch government’s decision to ban all sporting events until September 1. The decision was met with mixed reactions but it is a decision which had to be made and the league will resume next season once the government has allowed sporting activities to commence.