What EFL rules say about ‘weakened’ XIs as Sheffield Wednesday rely on Swansea City
Sheffield Wednesday are relying on Swansea City getting a result against Derby County in order to make sure they’re not relegated this weekend, but Steve Cooper has hinted at resting some of his players.
A Derby win, or a Derby draw coupled with a Wednesday defeat/draw would see the Owls officially relegated to League One with one game to spare, but if the Swans pick up a victory then Darren Moore’s side only need a point to take it to the final day at Pride Park.
But comments from Steve Cooper after Swansea secured their Play-Off spot with a 2-2 draw against Reading, suggested that they may not be at full tilt as the keeps an eye on saving his players for the knockout games to come next month.
He said, "Derby, it's a big game for them next Saturday and you have to respect the competition.
"But at the same time, we might have to think about how we approach the two games in terms of getting ready for the play-offs.
"It won't be like 10 or 11 changes, it might be something like you do in the League Cup. But there might be a chance to use the squad a bit more."
They will be limited to the changes they can make, of course, and English Football League regulations do say that they have a duty to play their strongest side.
The EFL regulations state, “Each Club shall play its full strength in all Matches played under the auspices of The League unless some satisfactory reason is given. In the event of the explanation not being deemed satisfactory the Board shall refer the matter to a Disciplinary Commission which has the power to impose such penalties as it shall think fit.”
More specifically, however, there is also a separate aspect that comes into play towards the latter end of the season, with the rules stating, “From the fourth Thursday in March, any team sheet for a League game should include at least 10 outfield players who featured on the team sheet for the League game before.”
Swansea play Derby and Wednesday host Nottingham Forest on Saturday, with both games getting underway at 3pm.