The key Papa John's Trophy rule change that could benefit Sunderland against Oldham in second round tie

Sunderland will be able to make five substitutions in their Papa John’s Trophy second round clash with Oldham, the EFL has confirmed.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 4:17 pm

The change comes after clubs remaining in the competition ‘highlighted concerns of a demanding fixture schedule over the coming months’.

Sunderland host Oldham at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, December 1.

A statement read: “Following feedback from clubs remaining in this season’s Papa John’s Trophy, the EFL can confirm clubs will be permitted to make five substitutions from the seven they nominate for the remainder of the 2021/22 competition.

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Sunderland player Stephen Wearne (l) celebrates with team mates. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“The amendment to Competition Rule 10.1 comes into effect ahead of the next round of ties which will take place during the week commencing Monday 29 November 2021.

“The change was made after consideration of the proposal which highlighted concerns of a demanding fixture schedule over the coming months.”

Sunderland finished top of Group F following wins over Lincoln City and Manchester United under-21s and a penalty shoot-out defeat following a draw with Bradford City.

As group winners, Sunderland were guaranteed a home fixture against a runner-up in the northern section of the draw. Lee Johnson’s side were named in pot B where they would face one of either Hartlepool United, Oldham Athletic, Wigan Athletic or Port Vale.

Ahead of the Oldham clash, head coach Keith Curle was sacked by the League Two side.

Oldham are currently 22nd in League Two after a poor start to the season which has seen Curle win just four of 18 in the fourth tier.

The full rules around the use of substitutes have been released by the EFL.

Papa John’s Trophy substitutions explained:

Clubs will be able to make 5 substitutes from 7 nominated;

Clubs will have 3 opportunities during open play to make substitutions (not including half-time);

Multiple substitutions can be made during one opportunity;

For the Final an additional opportunity will be afforded during open play in extra time (not including 90 mins and half-time in extra-time);

Unspent substitutions can be a carried over in extra time; and provision of concussion substitutes sits outside this process and can be made at any time.

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