The Welsh Premier League, known locally as the Cymru Premier, is the top national football division in Wales. It features the best clubs the country has to offer minus the major sides who play within the English league system, such as Cardiff City and Swansea City.
Given the scope of this league isn’t huge, it accommodates both professional and semi-professional clubs. It acts as the top tier of Welsh football within the league system, ahead of the Cymru Championship and the lower leagues of North Wales and South Wales.
The Cymru Premier was previously known as the League of Wales but went through a revamp in 2002. While its relative size and scale don’t allow it to make too many ripples around Europe, its clubs can attempt to qualify for the UEFA Champions League each year.
Welsh Premier League Format
The Premier League season in Wales is split into two phases. The first phase allowing for a normal 22-game campaign built around each of the 12 teams playing each other once at home and once away. The top six head to the Championship Round and the bottom six go into the Relegation Round by the end of January.
In the six-team mini-leagues sides once again play home and away with points carried over. The top team at the end of the Championship Round being crowned league winners.
Relegation and European Qualification
The league winners go into the Champions League qualifying stages. The same happens to the second and third-placed teams from the Championship Group in the Europa League. And the other three head into Wales’ Europa League Play-Off round.
At the end of the ten-game second phase in the Relegation Group, the teams finishing in the bottom two places are relegated to the Welsh Championship. Teams 2, 3 and 4 stay where they are and retain their Premier League status. Finally, the top team from this group join teams 4 and 5 from the Championship Group in the Europa League Play-Offs.
One-leg semi-finals are played in May before a one-off final in the Europa League Play-Offs. This game decides which Welsh team is the last to attempt to qualify for Europe’s second-tier club competition.
Wales’ Most Recognisable Teams
Barry Town was the first team to make their mark in the early days of the Welsh Premier League, winning the trophy 7 years out of eight between 1996 and 2003. But in recent times they have been comfortably usurped as the most successful side in Welsh football by The New Saints (TNS). The TNS has taken eight titles in a row for a total of 13 in their history.
Bangor City and Rhyl are the only other multiple winners of the Welsh title and while success in Europe is not expected, TNS has won 9 matches in Champions League qualifiers and have faced in the likes of Manchester City, Anderlecht and FC Copenhagen along the way.
Best Betting Markets for the Welsh Premier League
In the first phase when all 12 teams are together, the Welsh Premier League tends to display a higher than average home win ratio of 51% but bear in mind that this will include some of the top teams such as TNS playing relative no-hopers from the bottom end of the table.
Phase One also boasts a healthy 3.25 goals per game on average due in part to the same reasons, but when the top six come together for the Championship Round that average actually creeps up to over 3.5 goals per game while the home wins come down to a more familiar 45%.
Home successes are higher in the Relegation Round and the goals per game are steady at 3.2, so with that in mind here are the best markets to bet on:
- Total Goals – betting on more than 2.5 or even more than 3.5 goals per game can pay off if you choose the most fluent teams in any phase of the season.
- Match Betting – home/draw/away. While home teams can be skinny prices in the first phase, in the Relegation Round betting on home wins can be lucrative so look out for teams who could have finished in the top six as they are often reliable home performers for accumulator purposes in Phase 2.
Betting on Wales’ Top Football Action
With goals flying in all over the place, the Welsh Premier League is a great competition to bet on and you can do that safely with any of our recommended online betting partners.