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.
Gameweek 11 Set Piece Takers
Same as last week: with Pepe not featuring and Odegaard only coming off the bench, Smith Rowe and Saka split corners and free kicks. Odegaard subbed on and took 1 free kick shot. With the 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 working well for Arsenal, Odegaard looks to remain out of the starting XI, and ESR and Saka will continue to prosper from set pieces in his absence. During the December period (and AFCON) Odegaard may get more looks though. Aubameyang took, and missed, a penalty, so it remains to be seen whether someone else may take over next time.
Things got a little bit more straightforward for Villa's dead ball responsibilities this week, with Buendia and Bailey splitting corners and free kicks down the middle (3 and 1 for each). Targett did also get 1 corner though. None for McGinn this game, and Luiz was again out injured. If Luiz is fit and starting it will be interesting to see if Buendia again loses out to him for most right-footed set pieces. Of course, the managerial change could throw further spanners into the works.
While Janelt was on the pitch, for the first 45, he split corners with Jensen, with each of them taking 1 side of the field. After subbing off, Jensen took the rest from both sides. Jensen also took Brentford's 1 free kick of the game. It remains to be seen whether Jensen will remain in the lineup going forward as he hasn't played very well as of late. Janelt would be set to prosper with a gained set-piece monopoly if he starts and Jensen does not.
In Pascal Gross's continued absence from the starting lineup, Trossard and March split corners (each taking 1). No free kicks for Brighton. March did sub off early (for Maupay) and Mwepu is hurt coming back from the international break, so Gross could come back into the side. Trossard took and scored a penalty (also with Gross off the pitch).
Only 2 corners for Burnley this week and Westwood took them both. Nothing to takeaway this week as they were both on Westwood's normal side.
Barkley, Chilwell, James, and Mount all took multiple corners in their varying times on the pitch. With Barkley off the pitch, and Mount on (for all of 5 minutes) he was the preferred right-footed taker over Reece James, which is a positive sign for his managers. Chilwell took the 1 free kick of the game.
With Milivojevic not selected again for the XI this week, it was back to being a Gallagher monopoly week. Olise also only played 10 minutes but may have factored in if he played more. Eze should be back fit fairly soon and may disrupt Gallagher's monopoly.
Townsend and Gray split corners once again, but Digne did get involved finally and took 1 as well. No free kicks.
Maddison didn't start so Tielemans took all the corners(4) and free kicks(1) while he was on the pitch. Then Maddison came on in the 80th and took 1 corner and 1 free kick. With Tielemans likely out hurt for a couple of weeks, if Maddison manages his way back into the starting lineup, he should have a set-piece monopoly, otherwise someone else will prosper like Luke Thomas, or even someone new entirely!
Raphinha and Dallas split corners, taking 6 and 4 respectively. Raph took Leeds' 2 free kicks, 1 being a beautiful shot on target resulting in a goal.
Alexander-Arnold and Robertson split set pieces once again. Alexander-Arnold scored a brilliant curling shot from a free kick.
Foden and De Bruyne split corners and free kicks fairly evenly this week (6 vs 3 and 1 vs 1)
Bruno and Shaw took 1 free kick a piece for United, and Telles (after subbing on) took their 1 corner. If Shaw is forced to miss time (as he did for England) due to his head injuries sustained in GW11, Telles would likely start and take some set pieces for United.
Ritchie finally lost his set piece monopoly (on corners at least) this week taking 3, but conceding 2 to Jonjo Shelvey. If Shelvey continues to start, he should be expected to split corners with Ritchie going forward. Of course, the new manager coming in could make things interesting for set piece takers too.
Just like the previous 2 games, Kieran Dowell and Milot Rashica started and split corners. Rashica and Lees-Melou each took 1 free kick. Normann is clearly down the pecking order behind the 2 attackers, so loses his set pieces if they start. Pukki took and scored a penalty. Of course, new manager, Dean Smith could further complicate matters.
JWP took all of Southampton's set pieces (10 corners, 2 free kicks).
Lo Celso and Son each took 1 corner in this one. So far during the Conte reign, at least set-piece-wise, it has been much of the same: Son taking most and starting every game, and Lo Celso not starting much but taking them when he subs on.
"Cucho appears to still be atop the chart, but will he be in the XI going forward?" we said last article. Well, he didn't start in GW11, and thus got no set pieces. Cleverley was also absent, so Tufan (2 corners) and Rose (1 free kick) prospered in their absence. Cucho did sub on for an under-performing Dennis, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him rotated back in, and back on set pieces, soon.
Fornals (2) and Bowen(1) each took corners this game, with Bowen also taking a free kick. None for Cresswell this game. In recent weeks, Fornals has gotten a larger share of corners, and as a result Cresswell and Bowen have taken fewer. A cherry on top for manager of the in-form Fornals.
Like last week Rayan Alt-Nouri and Moutinho split corners, each taking 3. Moutinho took Wolves's 2 free kicks. Consequentially, Trincao missed out again.
Things to Watch Out For From This Week
What post-international break lineup rotations will impact set piece takers?
Will Fornals continue to take corners for West Ham?
Will Gross make his way back into the starting XI and who will take sets consistently if he does not?
How will the new managers impact the set piece taker personnel?
Things to Watch Out For From Previous Weeks
Will Aston Villa's set piece takers ever stabilize? Maybe Bailey and Buendia, but TBD when Luiz returns
Will Milivojevic regain his starting XI spot or will Gallagher continue to take set pieces in his absence? Not yet (for the past 2 weeks)
Will Alt-Nouri continue to start and take set pieces? Yes!
Was Bruno's lack of set pieces just a blip? TBD
Will Maddison take more set pieces off Tielemans? Yes! It seems likely as of now, if he starts
Can Cucho keep a majority of set pieces? Yes, but did not start last week
Is Podence the preferred corner taker over Moutinho? Still need to see him start
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