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 29-30 Set Piece Takers
In GW29 against Leicester, Martinelli and his substitute Smith Rowe each got 1 corner. Cedric Soares and Odegaard each got 1 corner. Against Liverpool, Soares got 1 more free kick and Martinelli got 1 more corner. Saka and Odegaard may have just been unlucky not to have any left-footed corners to take across the 2 games. In GW30, Saka had 3 corners, starting Smith Rowe had 1, and Soares had 1. Soares took their 1 free kick. Arsenal set pieces are a bit of a mess split between 5 players, but Soares seems to have the upper hand on right-footed corners and free kicks, Odegaard for lefty free kicks, and Saka for lefty corners.
In GW29, in Digne's absence, McGinn took 3 corners, Luiz took 2, and Ashley Young took 1. McGinn took their 1 free kick cross, and Coutinho took their 1 direct free kick shot (off target). In GW30, McGinn had 4 corners, Luiz 1, and Coutinho 1. All 3 each had 1 free kick as well. McGinn is the direct benefactor of Digne's absence, but his set pieces should be expected to evaporate in GW31 when Digne is back involved (he started for France this week). Luiz is the primary other sided taker, with Coutinho factoring in on direct free kicks.
In GW29, Eriksen took 2 corners and they had no free kicks. In GW30, Eriksen was out sick, so Jensen took all 5 corners and Mbeumo their 1 free kick. Toney took and scored 1 penalty. Going forward, Eriksen should be expected to start nearly every game and have set piece monopolies nearly every time.
Against Liverpool, Gross took 4 corners, March 2, and Mac Allister 1. Against Spurs, Gross took 5, March 1, and Mac Allister 0. Gross and March each took 1 free kick as well against Spurs. With Gross and March consistently starting again, Mac Allister looks to be the big loser due to his loss of set pieces. When Potter inevitably rotates due to their poor form, whichever of the 3 remaining in the starting XI will be the short-term winners.
In GW29, Westwood had 5 corners and McNeil had 4 and 1 free kick. Cornet and Brownhill were not involved unlike prior weeks (despite starting). Westwood and McNeil should be expected to split going forward, with maybe a rare take from 1 of the other 2.
In GW29, ZIyech and Mount split corners (4 to 3) and free kicks (1 to 1). Alonso and Reece James did not play. Reece James is back from injury, and Alonso will likely start soon as well, so the picture will get much cloudier for Ziyech and Mount. Both of the full backs may be the preferred corner takers with the attackers on free kicks, but it has changed multiple times already this season.
In GW29 vs City, Gallagher had a small monopoly with 2 corners and 1 free kick. Olise was likely just unlucky to not have any on his preferred side, and should be expected to be involved again in coming weeks.
In GW29 against Wolves, Demarai Gray started and had a near monopoly with 5 corners and 2 free kicks. Now-injured Townsend, substituted on and had the remaining 1 free kick shot. Against Newcastle, Gordon and Gray split corners 2 to 3 and each got 1 free kick. Gray back in the starting lineup is bad news for Gordon's prior set piece monopoly, but he looks to still be involved at least.
Unlike prior weeks, James Maddison did start in GW29. However, he had 0 corners and instead Marc Albrighton had 6. Fortunately for Maddison, Albrighton is not an XI regular. In GW30, Albrighton did not start, but it was Kienan Dewsbury-Hall who got Leicester's 2 left-footed corners. Maddison took their 3 free kicks, and very well might have taken any right-footed corners. I expect Maddison to be back involved with corners in GW31, but KDH looks likely to get nearly half as well.
In GW29, Raphinha had 4 corners and 1 free kick, and Dallas had 2 corners. Harrison had 0 despite starting. In GW30, it swung back and Harrison had 3 corners to Dallas and Raphinha's 1 a piece. Harrison and Dallas each had 1 free kick as well, with youngster Sam Greenwood in a rare start, taking their 1 direct free kick. Harrison has taken set pieces away from Raphinha inconsistently under Marsch. Dallas looks to be safe on the other side.
In GW29, in both games, Liverpool saw the usual set piece split down the middle between Alexander-Arnold and Robertson. Salah took and scored 1 penalty. As long as these guys start, that should be the expectation. With Trent potentially out multiple games, Milner or Oxlade-Chamberlain could take right-footed set pieces if they start. Rumour has it that Joe Gomez will start at RB instead of Milner, and Ox generally isn't a preferred starter, so it's likely that neither is the answer. Jordan Henderson is the only other right-footed player to have taken a corner for Pool this year, but if I was a betting man (and I am) I'd bet on Robertson to have a near set-piece monopoly in Trent's absence.
In GW29, Mahrez started and got 3 corners to De Bruyne's 2, and Foden's 1. KDB had their sole free kick. Those 3 plus Gundogan are the key names to look for in the lineup to be involved in set pieces.
In GW29, Bruno Fernandes was out sick and Telles started over Shaw and had a monopoly of 4 corners and 1 free kick. Going forward Bruno should be expected to split with either starting left back, Telles or Shaw.
Against Chelsea, Newcastle had a significantly rotated lineup and Almiron and Murphy each took 1 corner. Targett took all 3 of their free kicks. Against Everton, Fraser was back in and took 4 corners to Targett's 1. Targett again had 1 free kick. Fraser and Targett should be expected to split going forward.
In GW29, Gilmour was merely a 2 minute sub but had 1 corner and 1 free kick. Rashica, on the other hand, started and had 1 corner and 2 free kicks. Gilmour looks to have priority but it remains to be seen whether he'll be in the starting lineup or not, and hence if Rashica will be rewarded or not with a near-monopoly.
11 corners and 7 free kicks for JWP in GW29.
In GW29, against United, Son took 4 corners and Reguilon took 1. Against Brighton, each of them had 1 corner.. Son took 2 free kick crosses, and Dier and Kane each had 1 direct free kick (both off target). Harry Kane took and scored 1 penalty. In GW30, Son took all 5 corners and 1 free kick. That's generally the expectation going forward, with Reguilon lucky to get a corner every now and then
In GW29, Louza, Femenia, and Pedro each had 1 corner. No free kicks. Watford haven't got a ton of sets recently so it's hard to say, but Louza and Femenia have been involved the most, and look likely to continue starting.
In GW29, Fornals had 4 corners and Cresswell had 1. No free kicks. In GW30, Fornals did not start and Cresswell got all 3 corners. With Bowen out injured for some time, it's mostly Fornals and Cresswell taking sets, with Lanzini chipping in infrequently.
In GW29, Moutinho had a near-monopoly with 2 corners and 2 free kicks. Marcal had the sole other free kick. Neto, Trincao, and Ait-Nouri did not start. In GW30, Ait-Nouri replaced Marcal, and each of him and Moutinho got 1 corner and 1 crossed free kick (again in Neto's absence). With Neves out injured for a while, and Trincao not a preferred starter, Moutinho, Ait-Nouri, and Neto, when healthy should be the primary takers going forward. Podence has feature irregularly but not recently.
Things to Watch Out For From This Week
Will Raphinha be on set pieces most games or will Jack Harrison continue pilfering corners and free kicks from him?
What happens to Wolves set pieces when Neto returns?
Will Potter rotate his losing side again and how will Gross, March, and Mac Allister's starting positions and set pieces be effected?
Will Maddison get corners back?
How will Chelsea set pieces shake out with Reece James and Marcos Alonso back involved?
Who will get Liverpool's left-sided, right-footed sets in TAA's absence?
Things to Watch Out For From Previous Weeks
How long will Tomiyasu be out for and will Cedric Soares continue to take set pieces off Odegaard and co. while he's starting? Absence still ongoing, and Cedric still taking sets
Will Eriksen start consistently and have a full set piece monopoly? Yes, when not sick
Will Targett stay on nearly half of Newcastle's set pieces in Trippier's absence (or will Shelvey come back into the picture)? Yes, him and Fraser are splitting early down the middle
How will Gilmour and Rashica split set pieces? Gilmour has mostly taken over when starting, but Rashica has started more recently.
Will Gray or Gordon stick in Everton's starting lineup? Still evolving with Lampard, but Gordon has stuck around and Gray has come back in. Gray and Gordon split with Gray having slight priority.
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
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