Updated: Nov 29, 2021
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 12 Set Piece Takers
Same as last week: with Pepe not featuring and Odegaard only coming off the bench, Smith Rowe and Saka were the designated takers, but Arsenal only got 1 corner and Saka took it.
With Douglas Luiz still out and Bailey not starting, it was Matt Targett who split set pieces with Buendia. They both got 2 corners, and Buendia got a free kick. When Young subbed on for Buendia, he also took a corner and free kick. Targett looks to be the backup taker with Bailey and Luiz not on the pitch.
Jensen did not play, so Janelt was left with Brentford's 2 corners (both left-footed inswingers). Canos took their 1 free kick shot, and may have taken any right-footed corners as well.
Gross returned to the side and got his monopoly back, taking 6 corners and 1 free kick. Will he stay in the lineup is the question. A poor to mediocre showing didn't do him any favors so March, Cucurella, and Trossard could prosper again, in terms of set pieces, if he's benched again.
McNeil and Westwood split sets as normal, but Brownhill did get 1 free kick shot and Lowton got 1 rare free kick cross as well. McNeil had 5 free kick crosses, and accurately placed 2 of them for Key Passes.
Chilwell and James split corners (4 and 1 respectively but all inswingers from their respective sides), leaving Mount with 0. Mount, James, and Chilwell all got 1 free kick.
With Milivojevic back in the lineup, he resumed control and took 5 corners and 1 free kick (a shot off target). Interestingly, with Gallagher off the pitch, but Milivojevic still on it, Olise took 1 corner and 1 free kick cross, which bodes well for his future chances, if only he can come by more starts.
Townsend took 1 corner and 2 free kicks which were all of Everton's sets. Despite him being a right-footed player, Demarai Gray's rumoured absence going forward will likely open up more set pieces for the 2 lefties: Townsend and Digne. It likely won't help the Everton offense though, who are already hurting.
Both Maddison and Tielemans didn't start but unfortunately for us (in terms of gaining knowledge), Leicester did not get a single set piece in the 1st half. In the 2nd, after subbing on, Maddison took 1 corner, but more interestingly Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall took 2. These are both notable because previous taker, Albrighton was still on the pitch. While KDH likely won't start often, Rodgers does need to figure out his midfield with Tielemans out. If Maddison manages to get back in the starting XI (and he did play fairly well in the 2nd half), he'll likely take quite a few set pieces. If not, Albrighton is our best guess. If neither are on the pitch, it's a tossup.
With Rodrigo and Raphinha both out, Dallas took all of their corners from both sides of the field (8) as well as the sole free kick (a shot on target).
In Robertson's absence, Alexander-Arnold and Tsimikas split set pieces evenly.
Without KDB, Foden and Gundogan split set pieces. After Foden subbed off, Silva took 1 corner, and Mahrez took 1 free kick after he subbed on (on target).
United had 3 corners and Shaw took all of them. Notably, he took them from both sides of the field and Bruno thus had 0. Not a good sign for Bruno, but this could all change with a new manager coming in, or even a Shaw benching (due to injury or poor play).
Again, Ritchie lost his set piece monopoly, and him and Shelvey split corners and free kicks evenly. I expect that to continue going forward as long as they maintain their places, and they likely will in the short-term.
With a new manager, and a much changed XI, it was Billy Gilmour and Rashica who split corners and free kicks evenly. Normann had 0. Dowell did not play. If Gilmour and Rashica remain in the lineup, Normann looks set to continue missing out completely.
JWP took all of Southampton's set pieces (7 corners, 1 free kick).
Lo Celso did not play, so Son got all 4 corners. Dier did get a free kick shot (as he tends to, from time to time) which resulted in a deflection and a Reguilon goal.
Set pieces are still a cloudy picture at Watford. Imran Louza got a rare start and took 3 corners and 2 free kicks. Cleverley also started and got 2 corners. Cucho subbed on and took 3 corners (in only 22 minutes). Dennis also took 1 free kick shot. If he continues to start, Louza looks to be the top left-footed taker, and Cleverley and Cucho will split righties. Sarr took a penalty (twice) and missed it both times.
Bowen and Cresswell split corners (2 and 1) and Fornals got 0, but there were 0 left-sided, right-footed corners for him to take, so likely just unlucky. Declan Rice took 1 deep free kick cross.
Like the past 2 weeks, Rayan Alt-Nouri and Moutinho split corners and free kicks.
Things to Watch Out For From This Week
Will Gilmour stick in the Norwich lineup and keep taking set pieces?
Who will take set pieces for Leicester if Maddison and Tielemans both don't play?
Will Digne get more sets in Gray's absence?
Will Sarr stay on Watford penalties after missing twice?
Things to Watch Out For From Previous Weeks
How will the new managers impact the set piece taker personnel? Gilmour started and took sets. Jonjo Shelvey started and took sets. Bailey didn't start.
Will Gross make his way back into the starting XI and who will take sets consistently if he does not? He did in GW12 but TBD if he sticks
Will Fornals continue to take corners for West Ham? Likely, but TBD
Is Podence the preferred corner taker over Moutinho? Looks like no
What post-international break lineup rotations will impact set piece takers? Nothing crazy, but KDB, Robertson, Rodrigo, and Raphinha injuries/illnesses did impact.
Will Aston Villa's set piece takers ever stabilize? Maybe Bailey and Buendia have priority, but TBD when Luiz returns, and the starting XI is still evolving a lot with Gerrard at the helm
Will Milivojevic regain his starting XI spot or will Gallagher continue to take set pieces in his absence? In and out of the lineup by the week
Was Bruno's lack of set pieces just a blip? Looks like Shaw is preferred on corners mostly, but TBD with new manager
Can Cucho keep a majority of set pieces? He's likely the preferred right-footed taker.
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