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The Premier League is one of Europe’s five leading domestic competitions, along with the Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga, and Ligue 1. It was launched in 1992 after England’s 22 top-flight teams broke away from the Football League to form their own competition.
The Premier League today is home to 20 clubs, many of which are among the biggest names in world soccer. Our guide provides all the essential information on the sides taking part in the division in the 2020/21 campaign.
Arsenal was founded in south London in 1886, before moving to the north of the capital 27 years later. Its best period in the Premier League came in the late 1990s and early 2000s when Arsene Wenger led the club to three titles. In the last of those in 2003/04, Arsenal became the first side since Preston North End in 1888/89 to go an entire season unbeaten.
Aston Villa was one of the Premier League’s ever-present teams before its relegation in 2016. Villa is one of only five English teams to have won the European Cup, with the Birmingham-based club lifting the trophy following a 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich in 1982.
Another team based on the south coast, Brighton returned to the top flight in 2017 after a 34-year absence. They now play their games at the Amex Stadium after a difficult period in which the club was in effect homeless following the sale of the Goldstone Ground in 1997.
Burnley is among the least wealthy of the Premier League’s current members, but the club has been crowned champions of England on two occasions, coming out on top in 1920/21 and 1959/60. Its Turf Moor home is a fine example of a traditional English soccer stadium.
Chelsea had only won one league title before Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2004. Since then the Blues have become one of the most popular and well-known teams across the world. Chelsea regularly challenges for major trophies and was crowned European champion for the first time in its history in 2012.
Based in south London, Palace has spent much of its recent history bouncing between the top two tiers of English soccer. Their Selhurst Park stadium is renowned for producing a wonderful atmosphere, while the club has recently announced its intention to be recognized as the oldest professional outfit in the world, arguing that its true founding date was 1861.
Throughout its almost 150-year existence, Everton has tended to play second fiddle to Liverpool, which is based just 3169 feet away. It is a historic club in its own right, however, having won nine league titles and been ever-present in the Premier League since its 1992 launch – an achievement matched by only five other sides.
Fulham is based in west London, with its picturesque Craven Cottage stadium situated on the banks of the River Thames. The ground will hold 30,000 spectators once renovation work is complete.
After a 16-year absence, Leeds returned to the Premier League in 2020. It is one of England’s most historic clubs, having won league titles in three different decades. Its triumph in 1992 was the last before the First Division became the Premier League.
|Stadium||King Power Stadium|
Leicester pulled off the most extraordinary title triumph in English soccer history when they finished in first place in 2015/16. The club has used that success as a springboard and hopes to become a permanent member of the elite in the years to come.
Liverpool is the second-most successful club in English top-flight history, having won the title 19 times. No British team has won more European Cups or Champions Leagues, and Anfield has provided a home to numerous world-class players down the years.
City has been one of the most successful Premier League clubs since 2010, but the club actually spent time in the third division in the late 1990s. Sheikh Mansour’s takeover in 2008 proved transformative, and City is now one of the biggest forces in the English game.
Manchester United has won 20 league titles, more than any other club in English soccer. Thirteen of those triumphs came under legendary manager Alex Ferguson between 1992/93 and 2012/13. United plays its home matches at Old Trafford, the largest club stadium in the country.
|Stadium||St James’ Park|
Newcastle is widely considered a sleeping giant in English soccer. Despite possessing a large stadium and loyal fan base, the club has won only four titles since its birth in 1892. The Magpies finished as Premier League runners-up twice in the mid-1990s but more recently spent two seasons in the Championship, the second division.
Sheffield United is one of very few teams that continues to play at its first-ever ground. Bramall Lane was built in 1885 – before United was founded – and is the oldest major stadium in the world still to be hosting professional soccer games. The club won its only top-flight title in 1897/98.
Southampton was part of England’s first division for 26 unbroken years prior to relegation in 2004/05. The Saints sunk as low as the third tier before returning to the Premier League in 2012, since when they have occasionally flirted with the top four.
|Stadium||Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
Today Tottenham is a member of the so-called ‘big six’, but that was not always the case – Spurs was mostly a mid-table side between 1992 and 2009. The club plays its home matches at the Premier League’s newest stadium, which opened in 2019.
West Brom is something of a yo-yo team, having won five promotions to the Premier League and suffered four relegations out of it since the division was founded. Their home ground, The Hawthorns, is the highest in England.
West Ham is a big name in English soccer despite having failed to win a single league title in its history. Part of the reason for that is the fact that several members of England’s World Cup-winning squad in 1966 played their club soccer for the east London outfit. West Ham left Upton Park and moved into London’s Olympic Stadium in 2016.
Wolverhampton Wanderers is usually referred to by its nickname, Wolves. The Midlands side won three league titles in the 1950s, its golden era, and is the only Premier League club to play in predominantly gold jerseys. Molineux has been Wolves’ home since 1889, making it one of the oldest stadiums in the Premier League.
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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