Set pieces are an incredibly important part of football, with between 25% and 33% of goals scored coming from a set piece. They are equally important in Fantrax EPL, and in these articles we will highlight the trends in set pieces that will lead to player value fluctuation.
The graph above shows the top 25 players for set piece Fantrax points last season. A remarkable 58% of James Ward-Prowse's FPts came from set pieces.
Gameweek 1 Set Piece Takers
Brentford vs Arsenal
Four players took 100% of their team's set pieces: Raphinha, Ward-Prowse, Son, and Canos. Of those, Canos is least likely to repeat that given usual set piece taker Mathias Jensen was not in the squad. Pepe took the majority of Arsenal corners, but Saka took one when he came off the bench. One to monitor.
Man Utd vs Leeds
Not that it mattered this GW, but Bruno didn't take any corners, with Shaw and Greenwood handling them. Raphinha continued to dominate Leeds' set pieces, although Phillips may take some upon his return to the starting eleven. Sancho may also factor into the equation once he starts for United.
Watford vs Aston Villa
Sema took set pieces from the left, Cleverley from the right. Buendia took the majority of Villa corners. Bailey came off the bench and a took a direct free-kick. Ings on penalties.
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
Lots of potential set piece takers missing from this game, but Mount took the majority for Chelsea. Palace barely got forward enough to win any corners, but when they did it was Riedewald who took them, although Milivojevic, Eze, and Olise were all absent.
Everton vs Southampton
With Sigurdsson and James Rodriguez out of the squad, Townsend was given responsibility for all set pieces on the right (2 free-kick crosses, 1 corner). Digne took all corners from the left (5), and also took a direct free-kick.
Burnley vs Brighton
Brighton favoured the outswinging corner against Burnley, with Gross and March sharing duties. March also took a long range free-kick shot. Gross relied on set pieces for 45% of his FPts last season, and took 60% of Brighton's set pieces. Sharing with March could lower Gross' value.
Leicester vs Wolves
No set pieces for Maddison, with Tielemans (3) and Thomas (2) taking the corners. This is a concern, given 26% of Maddison's FPts came from set pieces last season. Bertrand will also contend for set pieces once he has recovered from COVID-19. Given 4 players took 1 corner each for Wolves, the situation appears confusing, but it looks like Trincao is first choice for corners from the left, and Moutinho for corners from the right.
Norwich City vs Liverpool
Tsimikas didn't just replace Robertson at left-back, he also took on his set pieces. The Greek international took 7 corners and 1 free-kick cross against Norwich, but didn't manage to create any chances. He'll have plenty of opportunities for chance creation next GW at home to Burnley. Gilmour and Rashica split corner duties for Norwich.
Newcastle vs West Ham
Ritchie (5 corners, of which 2 were key passes) will continue to be a decent Fantrax asset while he dominates set pieces. Bowen and Cresswell shared duties for West Ham. More interestingly, Antonio missed a penalty, and Benrahma has scored a perfect 6/6 in his career...
Tottenham vs Man City
All Son for Spurs, unsurprisingly. De Bruyne didn't start so it was predominantly Gundogan who stepped up in his absence.
Things to Watch Out For
Will Pepe keep set pieces when Saka returns?
Who will be taking Aston Villa free kicks?
Can Canos keep any set pieces when Jensen returns?
Who will take Crystal Palace's set pieces when they are at full strength?
Will Antonio keep taking penalty kicks for West Ham?
Will Dowell take set pieces if he starts for Norwich?
Bruno (23%) and Maddison (26%) were reliant on set pieces for a large proportion of their FPts last season. Will their average Points per Start drop if they continue to go without?
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