NEUCHATEL: Manchester United have fielded the most players at English Premier League level since the start of the season according to latest research by the Swiss-based CIES Football Observatory.

At the opposite end of the table are Arsenal. Arsène Wenger has used only 21 players so far while Louis van Gaal has already fielded 28 footballers. The data for all clubs is available in issue number 135 of the Big-5 Weekly Post.

Previous research from the CIES Football Observatory suggests that sticking on a core group of footballers often allows clubs obtaining top level results.

No club who head the table in its respective league have used more than 24 players. This figure is 20 for Napoli, 22 for Leicester and Bayern Munich, 23 for Paris St-Germain and 24 for Barcelona.

Conversely, frequent line-up changes tend to reflect anxiety which is detrimental to the improvement of results. So far, clubs at the bottom of the table in their respective league on average fielded 26.0 players. This figure is 22.2 for clubs heading the table, 23.6 for the top three ranked teams per league and 25.3 at big-5 league level.

The CIES Football Observatory was set up in 2005 under the name of the Professional Football Players Observatory (PFPO). Since 2011, it is one of the cornerstones of the vast CIES Observatory project, dedicated to the statistical analysis of sport in all its diversity. Click here for more information.

The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) is an independent study centre located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It was created in 1995 as a joint venture between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the University of Neuchâtel, the City and State of Neuchatel.Click here for more information.