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Premier League clubs agree to five substitutions rule change

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FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Premier League – Chelsea v Arsenal – Stamford Bridge, London, Britain – January 21, 2020 Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi comes on as a substitute to replace Mesut Ozil Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Managers will be able to make up to five substitutions for the remainder of the 2019/20 Premier League season after clubs agreed to the temporary rule change at a meeting on Thursday.

FIFA proposed the solution last month to “protect player welfare” with a large number of matches packed into a few weeks to clear the backlog of a three-month layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier League clubs also agreed to increase the number of substitutes available for selection from seven to nine for the remainder of the season.

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“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,” the Premier League said in a statement.

“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.”

To avoid too many stoppages, each team will still only have three opportunities to make changes as well as at half-time.

The Premier League will resume with two matches on June 17 as Manchester City host Arsenal and Sheffield United travel to Aston Villa.

The remaining nine full rounds of fixtures are then expected to be completed in just five weeks.

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