‘Five substitutes’ rule: Which FPL players are at risk of being subbed?

From the start of 2022/23, Premier League clubs will be allowed to make five substitutions per match.

We’re looking at how this rule will affect Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers next season and have already assessed what happened when five changes were previously – and briefly – allowed in 2019/20.

Now, we take a more focused look at the players from last season’s top five teams who look the likeliest to avoid a withdrawal and those who are most prone to being substituted.

In particular, we are hoping to find out more about defensive assets and their chances of making it to the magic 60-minute mark to bank clean sheet points.

For this article, we’ll look at how Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Antonio Conte, Thomas Tuchel and Mikel Arteta handled their substitutions in 2020/21.

READ MOREWhich FPL assets played the most minutes in 2021/22?


  • As mentioned in our last piece, Pep Guardiola made the fewest substitutions per match (2.1) of any Premier League manager in 2021/22.
  • Kevin De Bruyne was the joint-most-substituted City player of last season, being withdrawn in nine of his 25 starts. Seven of those nine substitutions came after 70 minutes, with only two before 60 minutes. In seven of the nine times in which he was hooked, he had already delivered an attacking return.
  • City’s three first-choice orthodox full-backs Joao Cancelo, Kyle Walker and Oleksandr Zinchenko made 66 starts between them but were only substituted off on a combined two occasions, with Walker’s half-time withdrawal in Gameweek 3 the only full-back change prior to 60 minutes.
  • Changes at centre-half were more commonplace. Aymeric Laporte, the stopper who Guardiola shaped his central defensive partnerships around, was withdrawn on five occasions in energy preservation exercises. Not one of the five withdrawals came before the 60-minute mark but there were two close-run things in Gameweeks 34 and 36.
  • 46.4% of Riyad Mahrez‘s run-outs came off the bench, with only 10 of his 28 appearances lasting the course. Mahrez had one of the best points-per-start averages (6.9) in FPL last season but it was feast or famine with the Algerian, who registered nine one-pointers as a substitute.


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