Free football predictions and tips for Bulgaria First League
Bulgarian First League: the pride of Bulgarian football
Bulgarians who are living anywhere in the world are anxious to watch the Bulgarian First league every year. This top-flight football competition is what Bulgarian football players are proud of and is a foundation for them to join other higher European competitions.
What is the Bulgarian First League?
We usually know this professional association football league as the Bulgarian First League, but it has the official name as First Professional Football League, or also referred to as Parva liga. Due to sponsorship from a famous gambling company called efbet, this league is either known as the efbet League.
The Bulgarian First League ranks first in the Bulgarian football league system and is run by the Bulgarian Football Union (abbreviated as BFS).
First Professional Football League Bulgaria logo
History of the Bulgarian First League
The Bulgarian First League has a rich history that is divided into different development phases.
The inaugural football championship in Bulgaria was created in 1924 as the Bulgarian State Football Championship. It was folded 20 years later, in 1944. Meanwhile, in 1937-1940, they attempted to create a top division throughout the country, which resulted in the National Football Division that was played in a round-robin format.
A Republican Football Group
The A Republican Football Group started in 1948 with 10 teams participating and increased to 12 in the next two seasons. There were 15 teams in the 1953 edition and 14 teams in the next two years. The number of clubs again decreased to the original in 1956 and 1957. The next season was stopped and the championship came back in the 1960s with numerous changes in the number of teams (14 in the period of 1960-1962, 16 in the 1967-1968 season).
This stage also witnessed several combinations between different Bulgarian football clubs. For example, CSKA Red Flag merged with Septemvri Sofia to result in CSKA September Flag, Levski and Spartak in Levski-Spartak, Lokomotiv and Slavia in Slavia.
Premier Professional Football League
This league competition was created in the autumn of 2000 by the Bulgarian Football Union. Levski Sofia was the first champion of the Premier League in Bulgaria. In the next season, there was a slight change in the format of the league, which included regular season and the play-off phase.
The Bulgarian A Professional Football Group was introduced in 2003, but it was changed to A Football Group in the 2005-2006 season. The first reason called out Lokomotiv Plovdiv as the champions, and the next season featured the winner CSKA Sofia.
Before starting the 2014-2015 season, the Bulgarian Football Union reduced the number of participants in the A Group from 16 to 12 teams.
First Professional Football League
The league has its current name as the First Professional Football League on 7 June 2016. Also, there were some new criteria that determined which clubs could qualify for the competition.
How does the Bulgarian First League work?
Along with the last change in the name of the Bulgarian First League, the format of this competition has also been changed since this period. There are 14 teams taking part in the Bulgarian First League, which is divided into two stages: a regular season and playoffs.
The regular season features a true round-robin format, in which each team has to join 26 matches with the other 13 teams on a home and away basis. The second play-off phase calls for the top six teams from the regular-season table. Meanwhile, the bottom eight clubs are sent to the relegation group, in which they will be split into two groups and play to find out the team that will be relegated to the Second League.
The playoffs are also played on a home-away basis and six teams will get their points from the regular season to this phase. The eventual winner is promoted to the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, while the second-placed team goes to the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds. The third team will meet the representative team from the bottom eight.
In general, every phase in the Bulgarian First League (no matter for the top teams or bottom teams) is played on a home-away basis and 3-1-0 system to determine their aggregate points. Therefore, there must be some cases where they are tied on points. In that case, the tiebreaker rules will be applied in the following order:
- Number of wins;
- Goal difference;
- Goals for;
- Goals against;
- Fewest red cards;
- Fewest yellow cards;
Bulgarian First League trophy
Titles by clubs
The above table has shown us the ranking of the Bulgarian First League members who have at least once won the title. The top two teams of this table are leading far away from the rest with 31 titles (CSKA Sofia) and 26 titles (Levski Sofia).
In the 2020-2021 season, Ludogorets Razgrad have become the final winners of the competition. This is their 10th consecutive title since the 2011-12 season.
Ludogorets Razgrad FC