Ways the Premier League Differs from the World Cup

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The English Premier League and FIFA World Cup are the most followed soccer competitions. 2022 is a special year in the world of soccer as the two competitions coincide due to the location of this year’s World Cup Venue in Qatar.

If you have been following soccer for some time, you may have noted a few differences. For instance, 20 England teams play in the Premier League, whereas 32 national teams participate in the FIFA World Cup. If you plan on wagering on casinos and gaming sites like Croco casino, here are comparisons you should be aware of for better betting strategize.

  1. Continents Involved

One of the most significant differences between the two competitions is the number of continents participating. The Premier League comprises teams that are members of the English Football Association. However, it is essential to note that some Welsh teams like Cardiff City and Swansea City take part in it.

There is no limit to the number of continents participating in the World Cup. However, there is a limit to the number of teams from each continent participating in the tournament.

  1. Teams Involved

Twenty clubs contest the English Premier League. It is important to note that the Premier League used to have 22 teams before it scaled down to 20.

World Cup is different; it involves 32 participants. The host automatically earns a spot in the competition, and the remaining 31 spots are left for other teams. In other news, there will be an expansion in the 2026 World Cup from 32 to 48 teams.

  1. Number of Matches

One of the exciting things and differences between the Premier League and the World Cup is the number of matches. The most intriguing part is that each match matters; through them, the teams fight for positions and prove themselves as the best.

There are 380 matches in each Premier League season. Each team has to play 38 matches. Each of the 20 teams has to play against the other 19 clubs in the season, home and away, resulting in 38 matches.

The World Cup, on the other hand, has a total of 64 games, spread across the 28-day World Cup period. Every team that qualifies for the World Cup plays seven matches in the course of the tournament. They play three matches in the group stage, 1 in the round of 16, 1 in the quarter-finals, 1 in the semifinals, and 1 in the final match.

  1. Qualification

The qualification criteria for the two competitions are also different. Teams that qualify for the Premier League must make it to the top 20 teams in the English football pyramid. Teams that start at the bottom of the pyramid are usually promoted to the various tiers, from where they eventually get to the Premier League.

The most competitive of them is the EFL Championship, the league’s second tier. In the competition, 24 teams compete for the top three spots. The teams that finish in the 3rd to 6th place have to play in the Championship playoffs, which are also very competitive.

  1. Which Teams Make Up the Competitions?

Top English clubs get to participate in the competition. The World Cup features 32 national teams, which is set to expand to 48.

Because teams are allowed to buy and sell teams in the Premier League transfer window, they are usually able to build strong and highly competitive teams. The difference with the World Cup is that the clubs are free to choose their preferred players.

Similarly, players can switch from national teams in the World Cup under certain conditions. Players can switch teams when they meet the eligibility criteria of playing for their first country in an official competition before subsequent matches.

The teams in the World Cup competition often have different standards. This means can have a more competitive edge than others. How does that happen?

For instance, some national teams may have one or two seasoned football stars that play in the Premier League. Others may not have the same talent.

However, this does not necessarily mean the lack of renowned football stars in the countries results in poor performance. National teams like Egypt and France are strong, and the presence of a well-known player would not make much difference. The other thing is that some of the players in the top clubs may also not be selected to represent their national teams.

  1. Format

There are also variances in the format of the competitions. While the Premier League follows the double round-robin format, the World Cup features a group stage and knockout round.

In the double round-robin league format, all of the 20 teams play against 19 teams in the league.

The World Cup has the group stage from where two national teams progress to the knockout round. The knockout round then starts with a round of 16, where two teams from the eight different groups progress to the next stage of the tournament.


If you have trouble wrapping your head around the two competitions, we hope our comparisons have helped you better understand how they work. The main differences between the Premier League and World Cup are the number of teams, number of matches, players’ qualifications, and the match formats.