Coventry City’s match with Birmingham City will be the first to be played under the reintroduced regulations around substitutions.
Sky Sports have today confirmed the EFL have voted in favour of allowing five changes to be made per match, starting at St Andrew’s on Friday night – when the Sky Blues host landlords Blues, who are technically the away team at their home ground.
Clubs were permitted to use five replacements as opposed to the usual three because of fitness concerns and a congested fixture schedule when football returned in mid-June following the coronavirus lockdown.
That was scrapped before the start of this season but concerns over player welfare have seen that reversed.
City face nine games in the four weeks before Boxing Day and another three in a week over the festive period.
England boss Gareth Southgate recently criticised the decision to revert to three substitutes in Premier League and EFL fixtures.
Southgate said following the Three Lions’ defeat to Belgium at the weekend: “We were able to make five changes against Belgium – four in the end – and clubs don’t have that option.
“What will it take for that to change? There were a couple of less serious injuries against Belgium but what do we do? Wait until we get a load of really nasty ones?”
The majority of clubs in the second tier argued in favour of bringing back the rule last week.
The Sky Blues are yet to experience the five sub option while Blues made five changes during only one of the final nine games of last season, the 2-0 reverse at Stoke City.