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.
The graph above shows the top 25 players for set piece Fantrax points last season. A remarkable 58% of James Ward-Prowse's FPts came from set pieces.
Gameweek 4 Set Piece Takers
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham
Gallagher kept his set piece monopoly once again, until Milivojevic subbed on. Mili took 2 corners and 1 free kick after coming on, leaving Gallagher with 0 in the last 23 minutes. As both are right-footed, this is one to look out for, for any Gallagher owners. He's likely to lose the vast majority of his set pieces, and thus many key passes when Mili plays, as we hypothesized previously. For predominantly 10-man Tottenham, sans-Son, Reguilon and Harry Winks each took 1 corner, and they had no free kicks. If Son remains out, and Lo Celso continues to not be a part of the starting XI, it'll be interesting to see who takes their set pieces. Zaha took and scored Palace's penalty kick, which is very notable due to Milivojevic being on the pitch when he did so, indicating that Zaha is Palace's primary penalty taker, unlike in previous seasons.
Arsenal vs Norwich
Pepe had a full monopoly in this one taking 9 corners and 1 free kick shot. It's noticeable that both Odegaard and Saka had 0 set pieces. If Pepe does lose his starting XI spot, they'll likely subsume his duties, but may be out of luck for now. For Norwich, Tzolis took 1 left-sided, right-footed corner on his debut, and Dowell took 1 free kick. After subbing in for Tzolis, Rashica took the 3 remaining corners (Dowell was also off the field). Also notable that Gilmour did not start in this one. Set pieces will likely come down to who's on the field for Norwich, but as of now it appears Dowell is the preferred lefty and Rashica the righty.
Brentford vs Brighton
Mbeumo took Brentford's 1 free kick, and Jensen their one corner. Canos again left with 0. With Pascal Gross out of the lineup due to isolating, Trossard took the majority of Brighton's set pieces (3 corners, 1 free kick). Maupay and Cucurella each chipped in 1 (short) corner as well.
Leicester vs Manchester City
Marc Albrighton took all of Leicester's set pieces, including 5 corners and 1 free kick. Notable that Maddison, Tielemans, and Bertrand all started and still got 0. As of now it appears that when Albrighton and Luke Thomas are off the field, Tielemans will be the primary taker (which we know from their cup game and 1 earlier EPL game). Gundogan took 6 corners and City's 1 free kick, with Bernardo Silva taking 1 corner as well. No KDB or Mahrez playing in this one.
Manchester United vs Newcastle
Greenwood (6) and Shaw (1) again split corners and United had no free kicks in GW4. No set pieces for Bruno as a result. Ritchie took Newcastle's only set pieces of the game, 3 corners.
Southampton vs West Ham
JWP's full monopoly continued with 5 corners and 1 free kick. Bowen took 3 corners and Cresswell took 1 corner and 1 free kick. Both these teams seem to have very consistent set piece situations.
Watford vs Wolves
Dennis took the majority of corners (5), although 3 of them were short corners. Kucka took 1 corner and Danny Rose took Watford's 1 free kick (a cross) of the game. Notable that Masina and Cleverley both did not feature, a potential boost for Dennis if the trend continues in the future. Just like most weeks, Moutinho and Trincao split corners, and Moutinho took Wolves's only free kick (a direct shot) of the game
Chelsea vs Aston Villa
Callum Hudson-Odoi, on his season starting debut, took all 4 of Chelsea's corners and Hakim Ziyech took their 1 free kick. Notable that Mason Mount and Reece James did not start in GW4, and Alonso did not get any set pieces in this one. Villa continued their strange set piece patterns with John McGinn taking 9 corners and 2 free kicks, and Douglas Luiz taking the remaining 1 free kick. McGinn seems to be the primary beneficiary when Buendia does not play, so one to take advantage of in the future.
Leeds vs Liverpool
Raphinha and Dallas each got 1 corner, and Raphinha took Leeds 2 free kicks. 0 for Kalvin Phillips and Harrison, and Klich on the bench in this one. For the ever-predictable Liverpool, Trent and Robertson split corners and Trent took Liverpool's 1 free kick of the game.
Everton vs Burnley
Digne had a monopoly in GW4 with 4 corners and 1 free kick. 0 set pieces again for Townsend this week, a worrying trend that we saw last week as well. McNeil and Westwood continued their corner-splitting duties, and McNeil took their 1 free kick. Nothing new to see there.
Things to Watch Out For From This Week
Will Gallagher keep any set pieces when Milivojevic, Olise, and Eze are on the pitch? Looks unlikely
Who will take Spurs set pieces while Son is out? So far, Reguilon, and Winks and Lo Celso, if they play, look like the winners.
Will Odegaard (and Saka) continue to have no share of Arsenal set pieces?
When Albrighton is benched, will Tielemans be the primary set-piece taker for Leicester? Likely, maybe Bertrand
Dennis to continue on sets, in the absence of Masina and Cleverley in the lineup?
Things to Watch Out For From Previous Week
Is Townsend losing out on more set pieces to Digne or just unlucky in 1 game? Looks like yes!
Will Dowell take set pieces if he starts for Norwich? Yes, but Tzolis and Rashica took right-footed ones
Will McGinn continue to be involved in Villa's set pieces? Yes but only when Buendia is out
Will Odegaard take some set pieces off of Pepe and potentially Saka when he starts? Looks like no! When Pepe started this week, he had a monopoly over Saka and Odegaard. Still TBD what happens when Pepe doesn't start, but the others do.
Who will take Crystal Palace's set pieces when they are at full strength? Still TBD, but Gallagher taking most at the moment, except when Milivojevic is on the pitch
Will Dallas continue to be involved in Leeds' set pieces? A few corners
Will Lookman, Vlasic, or any other new signings take any set pieces off existing takers? TBD
Harvey Elliot to remain involved in corners when he starts? Likely no
Can Canos keep any set pieces when Jensen returns? Looks like no
Will Antonio keep taking penalty kicks for West Ham? Still TBD
Targett to remain involved with Aston Villa set pieces? Or Bailey/Traore to claim kicks when they return? Unlikely and TBD
Bruno (23%) and Maddison (26%) were reliant on set pieces for a large proportion of their FPts last season. Will their average Points per Start drop if they continue to go without? Still TBD, but Maddison hurting (only partially due to set pieces)
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