Five-sub rule could count against Barca, says Setien

MADRID (AFP) – Barcelona could suffer from the new rule that allows teams to make five substitutions in a match instead of three, their coach Quique Setien has said.

FIFA has made the temporary change to ease the physical strain on players, who are returning to a congested period of games after a lengthy break due to the pandemic.

The law could favour the bigger clubs like Barcelona, who have deeper squads and better players ready to come off the bench.

But Setien believes Barca, who are two points clear at the top of La Liga, will also find opponents are now fresher towards the end of games.

“I think it will actually harm us,” Setien said on Friday night in a video conference with the Las Palmas Football Federation.

“We know we settle a lot of matches in the final minutes. If you give the opponent the option of bringing on fresh players in that time, they won’t have that weakness of tiredness.

“But it can also give you some options in certain moments. It’s a bit of an unknown so we’ll see how it goes.”