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Premier League 2022/23: How many substitutions can clubs make?

Premier League 2022/23: How many substitutions can clubs make? Tottenham Hotspur's Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura (C) comes on as a substitute to replace Tottenham Hotspur's Swedish midfielder Dejan Kulusevski (R) during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on August 6, 2022.
(Image credit: CHRIS RADBURN/AFP via Getty Images)

In the Premier League 2022/23 season, there are set to be rule changes to substitutions in order to ensure that there is less fatigue across the board. 

With the 2022 World Cup in Qatar seeing the tournament take place in the winter for the first time ever, the Premier League are looking to cut down on potential injuries for the players who are set to play twice a week for most of the season.

One way is to increase the number of substitutions allowed in games – and a return to how football looked post-lockdown. 

How many substitutions are permitted in Premier League games?

In the 2022/23 season, clubs are allowed to make five substitutions. This has increased from three – the permitted number for most of the Premier League's 30-year history.

The Premier League has only once before permitted five substitutions in matches. This was post-lockdown, when squads were decimated by COVID-19 and games were being played in the middle of summer. 

Despite being allowed to make five substitutions in a game, however, clubs have to make them in three permitted blocks – not including half-time. This means that if a side wants to make all five changes, at least one double-substitution has to be made. 

Why aren't teams allowed to make five single substitutions in a game?

Clubs have to make changes in three blocks – not including half-time - in a bid to reduce time-wasting. 

Often towards the end of games clubs will bring on players off the bench more as a tactic to slow the game down than to get fresh legs onto the field. This rule means that clubs can't stop the game at a convenient break point to bring on players if they've already done so three times. 

If there is an injury, clubs don't get a fourth opportunity to make a substitution. Half-time is permitted as a substitution point because it isn't a chance to waste time in the match. 

How many substitutes are teams allowed to name on a bench?

In the Premier League for the 2022/23 season, nine substitutes are allowed to be named on a bench. 

Clubs can name fewer subs if they can't fill the bench – and if one player pulls out from the game before kick-off, clubs are allowed to fill another spot on the bench. 

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