Updated: Oct 26, 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.
The graph above shows the top 10 players for set piece Fantrax points this season. A remarkable 58% of James Ward-Prowse's FPts have come from set pieces, exactly the same as last season.
Gameweek 5 Set Piece Takers
Newcastle vs Leeds
Ritchie kept his monopoly of Newcastle set pieces, taking all 4 corners. Once again, Dallas took the left-sided inswinging corners over Phillips. Raphinha took the right-sided corners.
Wolves vs Brentford
Premier League watchers finally got to see Ivan Toney's ice cool approach to penalty taking. With Jensen still out of the starting eleven, Canos kept control of set pieces for the Bees. Trincao took one direct free-kick for Wolves. Moutinho and Podence (off the bench) shared corners, although both of Podence's were of the short variety.
Norwich vs Watford
Cleverley came back into the starting eleven and took corners on both sides. Only one of those resulted in a key pass, but he could be a useful streamer if he keeps that up. Gilmour resumed set piece duties after being rested in GW4, and Rashica chipped in too. Debutant Normann picked up a cheap 2 points (Shot on Target) from a very speculative long-range direct free-kick.
Burnley vs Arsenal
Burnley limited Arsenal to only 3 corners and 1 direct free-kick. Unfortunately for the Clarets, that direct free-kick was spectacularly dispatched into the back of the net by Strømsgodset Toppfotball legend Martin Ødegaard. Arsenal's corners remain in the calm hands of Nicolas Pepe. For Burnley, ghost-point star McNeil and Ashley 'Walmart Ward-Prowse' Westwood took care of business as usual.
Man City vs Southampton
This was the first game of the season in which Ward-Prowse, who maintained his monopoly, didn't get any FPts from a set play. An average 5.8 PPS just from set pieces is still incredibly high! Gundogan has taken 59% of Man City's set pieces this season, but he didn't take any when de Bruyne and Foden were on the pitch. Now is probably a good time to trade him out on a high, if that's still possible.
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace
With both Robertson and TA-A rested, Milner had the lion's share of set pieces. Tsimikas also took a few, but it appears he doesn't need set pieces to score ridiculously well! Fabinho took a long-range direct free-kick, something he didn't do once last season. There were fears that Gallagher might lose set piece duties with Milivojevic and Olise returning, but neither of them started so the Chelsea loanee remained in charge. Ayew had a free-kick shot.
Aston Villa vs Everton
This was the big game of the week, in terms of set piece narrative. McGinn went from taking 11 in GW4 to 0 in GW5, as Luiz took control (even before McGinn came off injured). Leon Bailey, who is threatening to be this season's Cengiz Under, came off the bench and sent in the corner that Digne headed in to his own net. With Buendia still unavailable, the set piece picture at Villa remains frustratingly unclear. To rub salt in the wound, not only did Digne score an own goal but he also lost corner duties. Having scored 39% of his FPts from set pieces so far this season, losing corners permanently would be a massive blow to his fantasy prospects. Townsend took the corners from the right, Gray from the left.
Brighton vs Leicester
No Gross again, so Trossard and March shared responsibility. Maupay took his penalty well, and Bissouma had a close-range free-kick shot. Having taken no set pieces last GW (all Albrighton), Bertrand took corners from both sides until he went off on 68 minutes. Tielemans took over after that.
West Ham vs Man Utd
No set pieces for Greenwood this time, with Shaw taking all but one (Bruno). Bowen handled all set pieces for West Ham, other than the crucial penalty at the end... clearly Moyes has very little faith in anyone not named Noble or Antonio when it comes to penalties.
Tottenham vs Chelsea
Mason Mount's half-time substitution was a massive boost to Alonso, whose corner assist came from the left side for which Mount usually has responsibility. Alonso took all set pieces in the second half. Son and Lo Celso shared duties for Spurs, except for free-kick shot that Kane blasted into the wall.
Things to Watch Out For From This Week
Has Digne lost corners?
Can Gallagher keep hold of set pieces?
Will Shaw keep taking corners from both sides?
Will Bertrand continue to dominate set pieces when on the pitch?
Things to Watch Out For From Previous Week
Will Gallagher keep any set pieces when Milivojevic, Olise, and Eze are on the pitch? Looks unlikely, remains to be seen.
Will Odegaard (and Saka) continue to have no share of Arsenal set pieces? Yes, other than direct free-kicks.
When Albrighton is benched, will Tielemans be the primary set-piece taker for Leicester? Looks like Bertrand has priority
Dennis to continue on sets, in the absence of Masina and Cleverley in the lineup? TBD
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