Premier League: Clubs take advantage of five substitutes rule on opening weekend


Newcastle make a substitution
Premier League clubs are able to make five substitutions in the 2022-23 season

Premier League clubs took advantage of the new rule allowing five substitutions on the opening weekend of the season.

Four or five changes were made by 13 of the 20 clubs in their opening fixtures as the number of changes allowed rose from three.

At least four substitutions from a single team occurred in every match.

Tottenham’s win against Southampton and Manchester City’s victory at West Ham saw all 10 substitutions used.

Five substitutions were briefly allowed when the 2019-20 season resumed after its Covid-19 suspension. Clubs then voted against continuing the rule for the compressed 2020-21 season.

The Premier League was the only major division to abandon the rule, because some clubs felt adopting the five-substitute change on a permanent basis would benefit bigger clubs.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, among the most vocal coaches calling for the rule to remain, used four and five substitutes respectively.

On average, teams made 3.85 changes as they took advantage of the new rule. Newcastle, Spurs and Southampton were the first teams to make five changes during the Saturday 3pm kick-offs.

There were 38 substitutions (26%) made in the 80th minute or later and 55 (almost 38%) from the 70th minute onwards as managers used the increase to rest players in the latter stages of games or introduce new signings.

Kalvin Phillips, Gianluca Scamacca, Sven Botman and Tyrell Malacia were among the new signings who came off the bench for their first taste of Premier League football in the opening weekend of the campaign.

Wolves and Leicester made only one substitution each.

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