Welcome to Part two of The Turf’s three part series, “Beginner’s Guide to the Premier League”. Part one can be found here:
No time to waste the season is almost upon us!
Ok so we know how the league works, let’s look at who is playing. We will be watching 20 teams. Let’s break them up by region. London (7 teams), Norther England (7), Midlands (2), Southern England (3) & Wales (1).
This season we see seven teams hailing from the London area. Most of those rivalries are intense affairs, and produce some of the best matches all season. To put it into perspective, it would be like having 7 MLB teams all hailing from the New York City area. Those seven teams are Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Fulham Football Club, Chelsea F.C, Watford F.C., Crystal Palace, and Arsenal F.C.
These clubs from the capital have some of the most intense rivalries in the sport itself, dating back many decades. When these teams meet up it’s for territorial bragging rights. Clubs like Tottenham and Arsenal are separated by only 4 miles, and are bitter rivals. This is the equivalent of The Yankees and Red Sox playing in the same city! It’s a sure bet when you are deciding which match to watch on a Sunday morning to pick the London V London derby, chances are its going to be awesome.
Outside of London, up norf is where the rest of the Premier League giants live. Manchester United and cross town rivals (and current League Champions) Manchester City, split the city of Manchester in half. Either you are a Blue (Man City) or a Red (Man United). Liverpool sports another Blue versus Red rivalry, Everton (Blue) versus Liverpool (Red). Aside from the cross city rivalries the match-ups between historical powerhouses Liverpool and Manchester United are mark your calendar type events. Rounding out the rest of the teams in Northern England are Newcastle, Huddersfield, and Burnley.
This Premier League season sees only 2 teams hailing from the Middle of England. Wolverhampton Wolves (yeah that’s a team name) and 2015/16 League Champions Leicester City. Wolves have been promoted to the Premier League after spending the last five years in the lower England divisions. The Leicester City Foxes are trying to create magic again, after the miracle they produced in the 15/16 season. Chances are, that ain’t happening.
Three teams this season reside off of England’s beautiful southern coast. Bournemouth, Brighton, and Southampton. Oddly enough all three teams sport striped jerseys of some sort (maybe it’s all the salt water or something.) All three teams are scrappy fun teams to watch that ultimately, will not do anything of significance this season. Their main goal will be to not get relegated.
One team from Wales this season. Yes Wales as in the country. That’s why technically it’s called the British Premier League, or BPL for short. No one actually calls it that though. Just call it the Premier League, and you’ll be fine. Cardiff City F.C. hails from the city of Cardiff (duh). Cardiff the capital of Wales, and the 11th largest city in Britain is home to the Cardiff City Bluebirds.
The club has been around for 119 years, and is coming out of a really weird period. From 1908 to 2011, the BLUE birds club colors was yup, you guested it, blue. In 2012 new owner Vincent Tan, changed the clubs color from Blue to Red. Tan being Malaysian believed as many in the Asian culture do, that Red was lucky. Tan not understanding the absolute blasphemy in switching from Blue to Red, fans were rightly pissed off. Cardiff was relegated. Red wasn’t so lucky. In 2015 they reverted back to a blue home kit, and now have been promoted back to the Premier League. Maybe blue is the lucky color?
Check tomorrow for Part 3 of The Turf’s “Beginner’s Guide to the Premier League!”