‘Five substitutes’ rule: How has it affected FPL so far?

As of this season, Premier League clubs are allowed to make five substitutions per match.

Here we take a look at what the impact has been on Fantasy Premier League (FPL) so far.

While we’re dealing with small sample sizes at this stage of the campaign, it’s worth keeping an eye on any trends developing over the season – particularly when we reach busy periods in the footballing calendar.

We’ll follow this up with another article once Gameweek 4-6 is out of the way, with those three match rounds following hot on the heels of one another.

READ MORE: FPL Gameweeks 4-6 rotation risk: How much rest does each team get?


Substitutions Substitutions made before player reaches 60 mins
Manchester United 15 6
Brentford 14 4
Crystal Palace 14 1
Chelsea 13 0
Leeds United 13 2*
Arsenal 12 0
Aston Villa 12 2
Newcastle United 12 0
Southampton 12 3
Tottenham Hotspur 12 1
West Ham United 12 3*
Liverpool 11 4*
Manchester City 11 2*
Bournemouth 10 2
Brighton and Hove Albion 10 0
Fulham 10 0
Everton 9 4**
Nottingham Forest 9 1*
Wolverhampton Wanderers 9 3
Leicester City 7 0

*one of which was confirmed as being enforced
**two of which were confirmed as being enforced

  • Erik ten Hag is the only Premier League manager who has maxed out his allocation so far, making five substitutions in all three of Manchester United’s fixtures. Four of those have been made at half-time.
  • The changes may start to happen with increased frequency at Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who began the season with wafer-thin squads but have now added strength in depth via the transfer market and/or returning injured players.
  • Five of Antonio Conte’s 12 changes have been at wing-back, one of which came before the 60-minute mark when Ryan Sessegnon (£4.5m) was substituted after 56 minutes in Gameweek 2. No top-flight manager has made as many defensive changes as Conte (six in total) in the first three Gameweeks.
  • Aside from Sessegnon, only two full-backs/wing-backs have been substituted before the hour-mark: Luke Shaw (£4.5m) at half-time in Gameweek 2 when United were 4-0 down to Brentford, and Aaron Hickey (£5.0m) after 58 minutes in Gameweek 3 when the Bees went all out to peg back a deficit at Fulham. Hickey is the only defender to have been subbed off in all three matches.
  • Andrew Robertson (£6.9m) has been substituted in two of his three starts so far this season. He was only taken off in three matches in the whole of 2021/22.
  • Ivan Toney (£7.2m), Brennan Johnson (£5.9m) and Harry Kane (£11.4m) are the only forwards to have started and finished all three of their side’s fixtures so far in 2022/23.
  • Aside from Kane, Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) is the only FPL asset who costs more than £8.0m who has started and finished all three of his team’s matches. Again, Klopp’s current injury crisis and Liverpool being behind in every game has boosted the Egyptian’s game-time.


No. of subs made Avg changes per team Subs made before 60 mins
Gameweek 1 77 3.85 14
Gameweek 2 79 3.95 11
Gameweek 3 71 3.55 13

Defenders subbed off % of starting defenders subbed off Midfielders subbed off % of starting midfielders subbed off Forwards subbed off % of starting forwards subbed off
Gameweek 1 14 16.7% 49 51.0% 13 65.0%
Gameweek 2 20 23.5% 48 49.5% 11 55.0%
Gameweek 3 11 13.4% 50 51.5% 10 47.6%

We previously looked at substitutions in 2021/22 and in the final nine Gameweeks of 2019/20, when five subs were temporarily allowed in the Premier League.

The findings from that article are below, to give some context to the table above.

  • 15.9% of the starts that defenders made in the final nine Gameweeks of 2019/20 ended in a substitution, compared to 12.1% in the whole of 2021/22.
  • 50.7% of the starts that midfielders made in the final nine Gameweeks of 2019/20 ended in a substitution, compared to 38.8% in the whole of 2021/22.
  • 60.5% of the starts that forwards made in the final nine Gameweeks of 2019/20 ended in a substitution, compared to 41.2% in the whole of 2021/22.