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 15 Set Piece Takers
With ESR still out injured, we saw the emergence of a new right-footed corner taker for Arsenal in Martinelli who took 3 in-swingers. Odegaard and Saka were unfortunate to not have any right-sided, left-footed in-swingers to take in this game, nor any free kicks for Arsenal. Martinelli likely only stays in the lineup as long as ESR is hurt.
Just like last week, it was McGinn and Luiz splitting set pieces for Villa. Luiz took 1 corner and 2 free kicks and McGinn took 2 corners. It appears that Luiz's return to the lineup has lead to Buendia taking far fewer set pieces.
Returning a bit to their status quo, Janelt was the primary set piece taker, taking the 1 and only corner and 2 free kick crosses. Mbeumo took 1 direct free kick. 0 for Canos on the day. Too soon to say whether Janelt is officially back on set pieces after he was not the primary taker the previous 2 weeks. Next week Canos is suspended due to yellow cards so Janelt (or Jensen if he starts) looks to be in a good spot to take most, if not all set pieces.
Gross started this week and had 2 corners but was subbed early in the 55th minute leading to 2 free kicks for last week's taker Jakub Moder, and 1 free kick for Trossard. Gross has been in and out of the lineup recently, and Moder appears to be the primary benefactor.
With Westwood back in the lineup, he took 3 corners and 2 free kicks. McNeil also took 1 free kick.
Cornet and Gudmundsson got 1 direct free kick (off target) each.
In a changeup from the last couple of weeks, Mason Mount was heavily involved in corners taking 5. Ziyech was the other corner-taker with 4. Previous taker Alonso had 0! Whether that's a permanent switch or a specific game tactic remains to be seen, but Mount did have an assist from a corner to Thiago Silva, so maybe he's rewarded with more takes soon. Reece James took all 3 free kick crosses for Chelsea.
A new challenger approaches! Despite Olise, Eze, and Mili all not starting, Gallagher did not have the set piece monopoly some might have expected. Tyrick Mitchell is the new man, taking 2 corners (both in-swingers off his left boot). Gallagher did still get 2 corners and 2 crosses before Olise came on. Olise proceeded to take 2 corners and 1 free kick himself. It should be noted Mitchell and Olise are lefties, and Gallagher is a righty (as are Eze and Mili).
Gray and Townsend split corner duties (2 and 1 respectively) and Townsend took their 1 free kick (leading to an offside goal). Digne looks to have even bigger problems than not taking sets now that Rafa dropped him altogether. The hope is that Rafa gets sacked or forgives him and starts him but neither seems likely after a late win vs Arsenal.
The in-form (maybe no longer?) James Maddison took all 6 of Leicester's corners and they did not have any free kicks.
As usual by now Dallas and Raphinha split set pieces. Dallas had 3 corners and Raph had 2 corners and 2 free kicks.
As almost always Alexander-Arnold and Robertson split corners. Outside of 1 of them missing time, that should always be the case.
Without KDB and Mahrez starting, Foden and Gundogan split the corners (6 and 3 respectively).
Foden also took City's 1 free kick. After subbing on, KDB and Mahrez both got 1 corner a piece.
Under the new Rangnick regime, Bruno Fernandes's set piece prospects are looking up. Bruno took 6 corners and stood over a few free kicks (but did not end up taking any). Telles took 3 corners from the other side as well as 2 free kick crosses and 1 free kick shot, which skimmed the bar. Ronaldo also blasted 1 direct free kick off target. We'll see what happens when (or if, with Telles playing well) Shaw returns to the starting XI, but Bruno's prospects look higher, at least when it comes to dead balls.
Without Fraser and Ritchie in the lineup, Shelvey had full control and took 10 corners. 0 free kicks for Newcastle this week. Manquillo and Lewis both played admirably in a 1-0 win so Ritchie may be kept to the sideline, as did Almiron, Fraser's replacement. Things are looking fairly good for Jonjo managers, for the time being at least.
Gilmour took all the set pieces (just 3 corners) while he was on the pitch, due to Rashica's absence. When Gilmour came off, his substitute Sorensen then took 1 corner.
Back to the basics, JWP took them all including 6 corners and 1 free kick shot (off target).
100% Son (6 corners). Seems likely to be the case until (if ever) Lo Celso is involved. If the COVID rumours are true though, things could get interesting. Previously Hojbjerg, and less so Reguilon were involved in sets, so they could be the primary benefactors if Son misses time (and Lo Celso doesn't start).
Pedro and Cleverley started and each took 1 corner. At half time, Cucho Hernandez came on for Cleverley and proceeded to take 3 corners. Dennis took 1 free kick shot (on target).
In Cresswell's continued absence, Lanzini took 1 corner and Bowen and Rice each took 1 free kick cross. Lanzini also took and scored a penalty kick, while Antonio and Rice were on the field. If he sticks around the starting XI, which he might considering an impressive win against Chelsea, Lanzini looks to wreak havoc on the Hammer's set piece landscape.
In Moutinho's absence from the starting XI, Alt-Nouri and Neves each took 1 corner (no free kicks available)
Things to Watch Out For From This Week
Will Tyrick Mitchell continue to take some corners?
Will Bruno continue to be more involved in corners under Rangnick?
Will Lanzini or Martinelli continue to start, and take set pieces?
Will Fraser and Ritchie continue on the bench, leaving all sets to Jonjo Shelvey?
Who will take set pieces for Spurs if the COVID-19 rumours are true?
Things to Watch Out For From Previous Weeks
Can Sancho, Sterling and Moder keep hold of their set piece duties? No, no, and yes partially for Moder so far
Will Olise or Eze start for Palace and have priority over Mili and Gallagher for set pieces? TBC but not yet
Will Fraser, Odegaard, and Young continue to start and take set pieces? Yes, yes, no
Will Sarr stay on Watford penalties after missing twice o will Josh King take them over after scoring one in GW13? TBC
Will Janelt get more set pieces again instead of Canos? Yes
How will United lineup and set piece takers change with new manager? Bruno took more corners
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