Adrian Clarke looks at tactical trends of the 2019/20 season so far.
Stability brings rewards
Fitness, form and fatigue are all factors that play a part in team selection but most managers would, in an ideal world, prefer a regular starting XI.
Across the course of 2019/20 some have done this more frequently than others.
Both head coaches have 11 players in their squad whom they have given 20 or more starts this season.
Most settled teams in 2019/20
|Club||Players with 20+ starts|
Arsenal, with four, are the side with the fewest players who can regard themselves as "regulars".
This symbolises what a turbulent and unsettled campaign it has been for the ninth-placed Gunners.
They both have only five players to have started at least 20 matches.
Spurs have actually used more first-team players than any other Premier League team, with 29.
Injury problems and inconsistent form have meant 2019/20 has lacked any kind of flow.
Fewer players equals success?
Interestingly, top-half sides have used fewer players than those in the bottom half.
This is somewhat surprising considering many of those leading teams have built large squads to cope with extra matches in European club competitions.
But it does suggest that familiarity is paying off and points towards a slow down in rotation.
Top and bottom-half teams compared
|2019/20||Top half||Bottom half|
|Av. players used||23.9||25.3|
|Av. players 20+ starts||7.4||6.9|
Head coaches at the biggest clubs seem to have tinkered less often in domestic football.
On the flip side, those struggling for results have had to dig deeper within their squads to try to find the right blend.
Frank Lampard promised to back his most talented Academy graduates and has been true to his word, fielding 10 players aged 22 or under.
Six of those have featured for more 500 minutes of action.
Stats for players aged 22 or under
|Players used||Players with 500+ mins|
|Man Utd||10||Man Utd||5|
Five of the 10 Man Utd players aged 22 or under who have been given minutes this season have become regulars, with Brandon Williams the latest top prospect to emerge.
At Emirates Stadium, meanwhile, Arteta has a number of promising youngsters to choose from.
The Blades, the Eagles and Manchester City are the only Premier League sides not to have used an under-22 player for more than 500 minutes this season.