The Premier League has agreed to allow five substitutions per match for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.
The decision was reached at a shareholders meeting on Thursday afternoon as the plans to restart the competition continue.
The new rule, brought in temporarily for the rest of the season, increases the number of substitutions allowed in a match from three to five – and means benches can now include nine players instead of seven.
However, Premier League teams will not be able to use this additional allocation simply to waste time.
That’s because managers can still only make changes to their on-field line-up on three occasions. Therefore, if they want to use their full complement of substitutions, they will have to, on at least one occasion, introduce more than one replacement.
This set-up is in line with what we have seen the Bundesliga adopt in Germany, as well as the temporary law amendment made by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in May.
Naturally, this new development has got Fantasy managers talking about how it will impact our favourite past-time.
There certainly appears to be a greater chance of more players being substituted before the 60th minute in matches – the bane of a Fantasy manager’s existence.
Furthermore, it probably also increases the chances of benched players coming on for one-point cameos rather than allowing an FPL substitute to come in for Fantasy managers.
This rule could even increase the likelihood of vice-captains being blocked by benched captains coming on for short periods.
Liverpool and Brighton could be among the teams most likely to make use of this new rule, as they sit joint-top of the Premier League for substitutions this season (85).
Fantasy managers may also be concerned about Pep Guardiola’s response to the new rule given his tendency to rotate his best players.
By contrast, Burnley manager Sean Dyche has been much happier with his on-field sides this season, making just 58 changes, the fewest of any Premier League team.
Here is the Premier League statement in full:
“Premier League Shareholders today agreed to temporary changes to the rules relating to substitute players. For the remainder of the 2019/20 season, the number of substitutes that can be used during a match will increase from three to five players. This is in line with the temporary law amendment made by the International Football Association Board last month. Shareholders also approved for Clubs to increase the maximum number of substitute players on the bench from seven to nine for the rest of the 2019/20 season.” – Premier League statement
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