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 26-28 Set Piece Takers
In GW26 against Wolves, Odegaard and Saka split corners 3 to 2 and Lacazette took their only (direct) free kick. Martinelli was not involved in any corners, though he did come off early thanks to a second yellow card whilst Smith Rowe did not feature at all. Against Brentford, Smith-Rowe started but it was Cedric Soares who got the most corners (7), then Saka (4), Smith Rowe (2), and Odegaard (1), whilst they had no free kicks. In GW28 against Watford, Soares and Saka split corners (2 to 3) and Soares got the 1 free kick. While Soares continues to start, everyone else besides Saka seems to suffer from a set piece perspective (read: Odegaard, Martinelli, Smith Rowe).
In GW26, Digne had 6 corners, Coutinho 2, and Bailey (as a sub) 2. Digne took their 1 (direct) free kick and McGinn their 1 indirect free kick. Luiz and Buendia started but had 0 sets. In GW27, Luiz was back involved and took the 2 corners that they won. Coutinho had 2 crossed free kicks and Digne had 1. In GW28 against Southampton, Luiz and McGinn each had 2 corners, while Digne did not start. Against Leeds, Digne returned and got 3 corners and 1 free kick; Luiz and McGinn each getting 1 corner and Luiz 1 direct free kick.
In GW26, Mbeumo took 2 corners and Ghoddos (from the bench) took 1. Jensen started and played a half but took 0. No free kicks were had. In GW27, Eriksen was a sub and had 3 corners to the starting Jensen's 2 and Mbeumo's 1. Mbeumo had their 1 free kick. In GW28, Eriksen had a monopoly with 5 corners and 1 free kick. Toney took and scored 2 penalties with Thomas Frank calling him the "best penalty taker in the world."
In GW26, Mac Allister had 2 corners, Cucurella 1, and March (off the bench) 1. Mac Allister had 2 free kicks, Moder 1, and March 1. In GW28, Mac Allister was benched and Gross started and took all 7 corners and 3 free kicks. Potter's rotation will continuously switch the set piece monopoly between Gross and Mac Allister predominantly, with March and Cucurella picking up the scraps.
In GW26 against Spurs, Brownhill had 3 free kicks to McNeil's 1, and McNeil had 2 corners to Roberts' 1. Westwood did not start and Cornet was subbed early. Against Brighton, with a similar line-up (minus Cornet), McNeil had 3 corners to Brownhill's 1 and there were no free kicks. In GW27, against Leicester, Westwood started and had 5 corners to McNeil's 1. Brownhill had 1 free kick to Westwood's 2. Against Palace, Westwood wasn't starting and McNeil and Brownhill each had 2 corners (and McNeil 2 free kick crosses). In GW28, McNeil and Westwood both started and had 3 and 2 corners. McNeil, Brownhill, and Cornet each had 1 free kick (with Cornet's their sole free kick shot).
In GW26, Ziyech took all 4 corners and 1 (direct) free kick. Mount and Alonso did not start; James did but took 0. In GW28 against Burnley and Norwich, Mount started and took all 10 corners and 1 free kick. Alonso and Ziyech were not involved.
In GW26, against Watford, Olise and Gallagher each had 2 corners and 1 (direct) free kick. Against Chelsea, Gallagher could not start and Olise had the monopoly (4 corners and 3 shot free kicks). In GW27, Gallagher had 3 corners to Olise's 1 but the latter had all 3 free kicks. Milivojevic came off the bench and took 1 corner. In GW28, Gallagher was back and got 4 corners to Olise's 3. Olise had the only free kick. Zaha took and scored a penalty.
In GW26 Gordon has 2 corners and 1 free kick to Van de Beek and Townsend's (off the bench) 1 corner. In GW27, Gordon had the 2 corners and 2 free kicks they were awarded before being subbed off for Gray, who then had 1 corner. In GW28, Gordon took 2 corners and 1 free kick. Gray returned from injury but was only on the bench.
In GW26, Tielemans had 5 corners and Maddison (off the bench) had 3. Albrighton and Lookman also got 1 corner (although Lookman's was a short one). In GW27, Albrighton had 5 corners to Dewsbury-Hall's 2. Dewsbury-Hall also had 1 free kick. Maddison came off the bench and had 1 corner. In GW28, Albrighton had all 5 corners and he and Dewsbury-Hall each had 1 free kick. Maddison did not start again; Tielemans did but had 0 set pieces.
In GW26, Raphinha had all 3 corners and 3 free kicks. In GW27, Raphinha and Dallas split corners and free kicks. In GW28 against Leicester, Harrison was involved and took 6 corners to Raphinha and Dallas's 2 each. Dallas took their 1 free kick. Harrison had 2 corners to Dallas's 1 against Villa and each had 1 free kick as well. Worrying signs for Raphinha during Marsch's tenure..
In GW26 against Norwich, neither TAA or Robbo started so Tsimikas and Oxlade-Chamberlain split corners and free kicks down the middle. Against Leeds the 2 full backs were back starting and had their usual split. Salah took and scored 2 penalty kicks. In GW28, it was the usual 2 splitting corners and free kicks.
In GW26, KDB had 6 corners and 4 free kicks, Foden had 2 and 2, Mahrez had 1 corner, and Bernardo Silva had 1 corner. Mahrez also took and scored 1 penalty. In GW27, KDB and Foden split corners and free kicks evenly. In GW28 it was similar, but Mahrez started and got 4 corners to KDB's 3 and Foden's 2. Foden and KDB each had 2 free kicks.
In GW26 Shaw took all 3 corners and he and Bruno each had 1 crossed free kick. In GW27, Bruno had 3 corners to Telles' 1. Each had 1 free kick. In GW28, Telles took all 3 of United's corners.
In GW26, Targett and Fraser split corners (5 to 2). Shelvey started but had 0. In GW27, Targett had 4 corners to Fraser's 2, and Fraser had their 2 free kicks. In GW28, Fraser had 2 corners and Targett and Shelvey each had 1. Fraser had their 2 free kicks. In the second fixture in GW28, Targett had 4 corners and Shelvey 1. Targett also took their 1 free kick. It looks to be a 3 way race, with Targett most recently leading the way.
In GW26 & 27, Gilmour had all 10 corners and 2 free kicks; Rashica started both but got 0. In GW28 against Brentford, Gilmour had 5 corners and 2 free kicks to Rashica's 1 free kick. Against Chelsea, Gilmour could not feature so Rashica, McLean, and Normann each got 1 corner a piece and Rashica had 1 free kick cross.
JWP had all 4 corners and 3 free kicks as per usual in GW26. Same thing in 27 with 13 corners and 1 free kick, although Stuart Armstrong got a rare deep free kick cross. Same in 28, part 1, with 7 and 2 and part 2 with 12 and 1.
In GW26, Son had 3 corners, but Sessegnon had 2 and Kulusevski and Winks each had 1! Son took their 1 free kick. In GW27, it was all Son again with 6 corners. In GW28, Son had 3 corners, but Reguilon came on for the injured Sessegnon and proceeded to take 2 corners and 1 free kick once Son was subbed off.
In GW26 against Palace, Femenia once again had a monopoly and took all 6 corners. Against Villa, he took 3 corners and 1 free kick, but Louza came back into the starting XI and also took 2 corners. In GW27, Cleverley and Louza split corners and free kicks down the middle, with Femenia not starting. In GW28, Femenia started again and took Watford's 1 corner. Cucho Hernandez and Louza each got 1 direct free kick. In the second part of the DGW, Femenia was subbed off early and Louza and Cucho each got 1 corner and 1 free kick a piece.
In GW26, Bowen had 2 corners and 1 free kick, and Cresswell had 1 and 1. In GW27, Bowen had their 1 corner. In GW28, Cresswell, Fornals, and Bowen all had corners and substitute Noble took their 1 crossed free kick.
In GW26 against Leicester, Moutinho had 5 corners to Ait-Nouri's 2 (who also had their only free kick). Against Arsenal, Moutinho had 3 corners to RAN's 1. In GW27, Moutinho did not start but Trincao did and took 1 corner and 2 free kicks. Podence was substituted on and took 2 corners. Neto also came on and took 1 corner and 1 free kick cross. Neto started in GW28 and took 3 corners to Moutinho's 1. Neto also took 2 free kicks to Moutinho's 1. Hwang Hee-Chan got 1 rare (short) corner. Moutinho then had 3 corners, Neto 1, Podence 2, and Ait-Nouri 2 in GW28 part 2. Podence got their 1 free kick. If Neto can get consistent starts he should factor in heavily the rest of season.
Things to Watch Out For From This Week
How long will Tomiyasu be out for and will Cedric Soares continue to take set pieces off Odegaard and co. while he's starting?
Will Eriksen start consistently and have a full set piece monopoly?
Will Targett stay on nearly half of Newcastle's set pieces in Trippier's absence (or will Shelvey come back into the picture)?
Will Potter restore Mac Allister to the starting XI and set piece picture?
Will Neto start consistently and take around half of sets?
Has Raphinha been taken out of the set pieces rotation for Marsch's Leeds?
Things to Watch Out For From Previous Weeks
Has Mbeumo fully won over set pieces and Janelt lost them? Mbeumo and Jensen took over, but the new man in town Eriksen looks likely to get a monopoly
Who will prosper in Mount, Trippier, and Maddison's (potential) absences? Fraser and Targett for Trippier, Ziyech for Mount, and Tielemans, KDH, and Albrighton for Maddison
Will Femenia stay as the near-monopoly set piece taker for Watford? Louza looks to be factoring in
How will Gilmour and Rashica split set pieces? Gilmour has mostly taken over
Will Gray or Gordon stick in Everton's starting lineup? Still evolving with Lampard, but Gordon has stuck around and is the predominant taker. Gray has just returned from injury
Will Cornet take more sets than McNeil? Seems to have swung back to McNeil
How will Coutinho factor into Villa's set piece taker equation? Seems like Coutinho may steal a few free kicks from Douglas Luiz sometimes, but not corners
Is KDH here to stay and will he keep taking right-sided, left-footed corners over Maddison? He's come and gone multiple times now
Will Olise or Eze ever start for Palace and have priority over Hughes, Mili and Gallagher for set pieces? Olise has begun to start more and split down the middle with Gallagher
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