Pro Pundit Teams

Which FPL assets are strong at set-piece situations?

One of the world’s best FPL managers, Tom Freeman, looks at the Premier League players who are prospering from free-kicks and corners.

As part of our Members Articles Unlocked week, all sections from the Fantasy Football Scout Members Area will be FREE for everyone to access in this piece.


Set pieces are an important tool in the modern game, with top teams placing more importance on them than ever.

Ahead of the 2018 World Cup, Gareth Southgate visited 2014 Super Bowl winners Seattle Seahawks and consulted set-piece specialists in both the NFL and NBA in an attempt to give England an edge.

With set pieces at the heart of their gameplan, they reached their first tournament semi-final in 22 years.

Around the same time, Jurgen Klopp ordered a complete overhaul of Liverpool’s set-piece routines, which led to the appointment of dedicated throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark.

While some pundits and fans found the idea baffling, the Reds now retain possession from throw-ins 68.4% of the time, compared to just 45.5% prior to Gronnemark’s arrival.

At the top level, small details can make all the difference.

This season, no team across Europe’s top five leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1) have scored more goals from set plays than Newcastle United, with 12.

That accounts for a massive 50% of their total (24).

When looking at the Magpies’ scorers this season, you’ll notice they are mostly defenders.

Knowing they pose a threat at set pieces, and have a kind run of fixtures ahead (see below), backing one of their budget centre-backs like Jamaal Lascelles (£4.2m) or Federico Fernández (£4.4m), who has two goals and two assists in 15 starts, could pay off.

Also, Matt Ritchie’s (£5.3m) return from injury and role as a set-piece taker means his first attacking return of the season surely isn’t far away.

Last season in the Premier League, 147 goals were scored from corners.

Burnley were the most efficient, with 7.1% leading to goals, and this season, no other team has a higher xG from set plays.

With Ashley Westwood’s (£5.3m) clever corners often targeting him, Chris Wood (£6.2m) has already bagged five set-piece goals, two more than any other player.

The appeal with the Clarets is that we know how they like to play – long balls up to the two strikers, with an emphasis on winning second balls – and whilst they don’t create many chances, only six teams have a higher xG per shot, which is encouraging.

With 30 Premier League goals since the start of the 2017/18 campaign, Wood is on the Watchlist.

Remarkably, Aston Villa are the only team in the Premier League not to score a headed goal all season.

The signing of Tanzanian forward Mbwana Samatta (£6.0m) from KRC Genk, will look to address that.

All three of his goals in the Champions League this season were scored with his head, including his equaliser at Anfield back in November.

Having played recent matches without a recognised striker, Villa now have a much-needed focal point, and the hope is Samatta’s arrival will ease the burden on Jack Grealish (£6.7m).

In my last article I talked about Southampton, with Alex McCarthy (£4.4m) and Jack Stephens (4.4m) my preferred route into their defence.

However, having watched their recent 2-0 win at Crystal Palace, Ryan Bertrand (£4.8m) could be worth the extra outlay.

His performance was as good as I’ve seen from him in a Saints shirt, with his link-up play with Nathan Redmond (£6.2m) down the left side causing all sorts of problems for the Palace defence.

Only Shane Long (£4.6m) and Michael Obafemi (£4.9m) took up more advanced positions at Selhurst Park.

Since returning to the starting XI in Gameweek 13, Bertrand’s 462 touches in the opposition half is bettered by only five other defenders, whilst he sits in the top ten amongst defenders for xA over the same period.

Looking ahead, transfer plans are on hold till Gameweek 24 is complete and Villa’s opponents in the Carabao Cup Final have been confirmed, but for now, here’s how I’m currently set up.

For those who have been following, you’ll notice I sold Kevin De Bruyne (£10.6m) last week.

At the time of selling, his fixture run was as follows…

With a likely blank against Arsenal in Gameweek 28, and a possible shift in emphasis towards the Champions League, I decided to cash in, replacing him with Son Heung-min (£9.9m), who faced Norwich City at home.

Turns out they both scored seven points in Gameweek 24, so let’s see how that one plays out over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading… until next time.


Tom Freeman – aka avfc82 – comes onto the team to make most of us feel wildly insecure about our overall rank history. A long-time Fantasy Football Scout user, he has finished inside the top 1,000 a staggering five times since 2009.

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avfc82 https://fantasy.premierleague.com/entry/11211/history | https://fplgeneral.com/articles/elite-64-manager-profile-tom-freeman/”

489 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Differential (c)
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 4 days ago

    Danny Rose to Newcastle on the cards now.

    1. antis0cial
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 4 days ago

      That a threat to Ritchie starting spot?

      1. Fulchester's New Centr…
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 4 days ago

        Must have some impact. Ritchie can play down either side though.

      2. Amey
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 4 days ago

        Has to be

  2. BobbyDoesNotLook
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 4 days ago

    Mane seems to be out "only" Soton game. I understand majority getting rid but why is everyone getting rid - am I missing something?

    I think keeping him. Amazing player and would want back anyway so why ditch because of one game missed?

    1. Fulchester's New Centr…
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 4 days ago

      Lots keeping now, you should too if you can afford to bench him.

    2. Fulchester's New Centr…
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 4 days ago

      Although probably more than 1, Norwich doubtful too I'd say.

      1. BobbyDoesNotLook
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 4 days ago

        Yep that is the major risk imo. Two good games out would be bad obviously so need to assess how likely that is.

  3. Mackans
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 4 days ago

    Thoughts on the following moves? (-4)

    Vardy, Manè & Söyüncü -> Auba, Traore & Robbo

    1. Fulchester's New Centr…
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 4 days ago

      Yay

    2. The 12th Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 4 days ago

      Similar idea to mine below.
      Like yours only for a -4.

    3. Limbo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 4 days ago

      I’d want Kun - got him?

    4. linkafu
        2 months, 4 days ago

        Nope

        1. linkafu
            2 months, 4 days ago

            In 2 GW you will regret it

        2. caldracula
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 4 days ago

          Don’t think Vardy to Auba is worth the -4

      • The 12th Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 4 days ago

        Is Lundstrum,Mane,Deeney >> VVD,Traore,Aubamayang worth a -8?

        Or keep Deeney v Everton and just do the other two for -4.

        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 4 days ago

          Do it, Deeney unlikely to go berserk and Auba just might.

        2. caldracula
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 4 days ago

          No

      • b91jh
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 4 days ago

        Mane to Salah for a hit?
        Seems he is missing one match only but it is a long wait until gw26.

        1. b91jh
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 4 days ago

          Ings/Williams/Soy are my sub, Cantwell in the starting XI who looks to be doubtful also

          1. caldracula
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 4 days ago

            Just play Ings

        2. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 4 days ago

          Probably. Otherwise could jsut start Ings, what is the worst thing that can happen?

      • Klaren
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 4 days ago

        What are thoughts about Ritchie? Is he nailed with Willems out injured? Also is he on penalties or any set pieces?

        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 4 days ago

          Danny Rose circling, but maybe he'll switch sides?
          On FKs and probably pens (though NUFC have yet to be awarded one this season).

          1. Jarvish Scott Talent
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 4 days ago

            Ritchie can play midfield too?

            1. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 4 days ago

              And this. You're very good at this whole advice thing Jarv.

          2. Klaren
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 4 days ago

            Thanks! Rose news is definitely worth keeping an eye on but will wait till deadline for the transfer so should know by then.

            I think that he might be a good Soyuncu replacement; was originally considering Stevens but doubling up on Sheffield Utd with the blank incoming doesn't really make sense.

      • I Member
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 4 days ago

        Seems like not taking a hit this week could give a decent rank rise.

        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 4 days ago

          Or hitting WC 🙂

          1. I Member
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 4 days ago

            Indeed.

          2. Amey
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 4 days ago

            😛

        2. Freddiebell
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 4 days ago

          This gamr is about enjoyment as well as rank so I hit the WC button and I'm very pleased about my team now.

      • Richard Richard (AKA: Anzhi…
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 4 days ago

        Ryan
        Lundstram TAA Holgate
        Salah Martial Mane* KDB
        Vardy Maupay Ings
        Button Kelly Soyuncu Dendo
        0.7m 1ft

        A. Save.
        B. Soy to Lascelles and bench Mane.
        C. Mane+Maupay to Traore+Auba (-4)
        D. B plus Vardy to Auba (-4)
        E. Other

        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 4 days ago

          Did I say B before?

          1. Richard Richard (AKA: Anzhi…
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 4 days ago

            Probably - just in a bit of a funk.
            I actually could take the opportunity to switch to double pool defence for a hit thinking about it.

            1. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 4 days ago

              Kelly to Robbo/VVD and Mane to Grealish/Traore?

              1. Richard Richard (AKA: Anzhi…
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 4 days ago

                Yes. It'd probably be Traore as a non-blanker. Hmm.

        2. linkafu
            2 months, 4 days ago

            Save

          • RAFA THE GAFFA
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 4 days ago

            Tricky one. B would be my guess.

            Lascelles+Maupay vs. Traore+Auba (-4)

            6+6 vs. 5+9 (-4)

            12 vs. 10

            1. Richard Richard (AKA: Anzhi…
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 4 days ago

              Good way of looking at it - though Auba would be for the long stretch hopefully

              1. RAFA THE GAFFA
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 4 days ago

                So would Mané surely if fit? 🙂

                1. Richard Richard (AKA: Anzhi…
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 4 days ago

                  Touché!

          • caldracula
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 4 days ago

            B or C

        3. Bury94
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 4 days ago

          Chelsea apparently trying to sign Dries Mertens from Napoli

          1. Fulchester's New Centr…
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 4 days ago

            Could be an interesting one, but why would Napoli sell at this time of year?

            1. Jullepuu
                2 months, 4 days ago

                I have heard that he hasn't been performing too well lately

            2. Jarvish Scott Talent
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 4 days ago

              Would be ironic if Chelsea fought to get the transfer ban lifted and they then end up not signing anyone

          2. linkafu
              2 months, 4 days ago

              Team not playing in GW28?

              1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 4 days ago

                Middle of previous page

              2. antis0cial
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 4 days ago

                Man City
                Arsenal
                Villa
                Sheff Utd

                Unless Man U Smash City!

                1. Tony Martial
                  • 1 Year
                  2 months, 4 days ago

                  Now I hope even more we smash City!

                2. Fulchester's New Centr…
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 4 days ago

                  Hilarious if Utd somehow scraped through, Woodward would be attacking fans' houses with fireworks.

                3. linkafu
                    2 months, 4 days ago

                    Thanks

              3. Gudjohnsen
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 4 days ago

                A. Robertson, Hayden
                B. Van Dijk, Fleck

                Fleck and Hayden would be 8th attackers

                Rest of mid/attack: Salah, KDB, Grealish, Traoré, Vardy, Auba and Ings

                1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 4 days ago

                  A

                2. linkafu
                    2 months, 4 days ago

                    B

                3. antis0cial
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 4 days ago

                  Best Mid 9m or below excluding Grealish / Traore?

                  Seems really slim pickings, Mahrez but he has a knock and is heavily rotated? Rich has some rough fixtures coming up. Mads is playing well but not producing, plus some tricky fixtures in next 3.

                  Who would you go for?

                  1. I Member
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 4 days ago

                    Probably Martial. Not a lot there.

                  2. Fulchester's New Centr…
                    • 2 Years
                    2 months, 4 days ago

                    Punt on Bruno Fernandes? Or he might lift Tony M's game.

                    1. antis0cial
                      • 3 Years
                      2 months, 4 days ago

                      Thanks I think it would be Martial of the two, he's just such a frustrating player!

                  3. Freddiebell
                    • 3 Years
                    2 months, 4 days ago

                    Martial or maddison I guess

                4. Tony Martial
                  • 1 Year
                  2 months, 4 days ago

                  Who is on your watchlist?
                  Mine is..

                  Bruno
                  KWP
                  Rose/Ritchie
                  Mooy
                  Richarlison

                  1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                    • 2 Years
                    2 months, 4 days ago

                    Good picks

                    1. Tony Martial
                      • 1 Year
                      2 months, 4 days ago

                      Thanks!
                      You recommended Mooy instead of Fleck to me on the previous page.

                      What is your thoughts on him over Fleck? He just doesn’t seem like a good pick?

                      1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                        • 2 Years
                        2 months, 4 days ago

                        Cheap.
                        Nailed
                        Playing as No. 10 with a few decent scores since he came in the team
                        Playing GW 28
                        Brighton decent at home and WHU (away) this week

                      2. Freddiebell
                        • 3 Years
                        2 months, 4 days ago

                        Hahaha

                        1. Tony Martial
                          • 1 Year
                          2 months, 4 days ago

                          Thank you! Going to probably get him over Fleck now...

                5. Mortal.Swinbat
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  2 months, 4 days ago

                  Thoughts on Aguero (C) this week?

                  1. Tony Martial
                    • 1 Year
                    2 months, 4 days ago

                    Him or Grealish for me!

                    Fear of Spurs sitting deep.

                  2. antis0cial
                    • 3 Years
                    2 months, 4 days ago

                    He could do really well but I think I will stick with Salah.

                  3. Brosstan
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    2 months, 4 days ago

                    Southampton top of chances conceded lately.. Doesnt get more obbvious than Salah at home for this one I think

                6. linkafu
                    2 months, 4 days ago

                    Is it a good idea to use your WC before a DGW? When the DGW done how do you get a normal team back? Without 2 triples of a team and 2 doubles?

                    1. Amey
                      • 1 Year
                      2 months, 4 days ago

                      You can't.
                      You can though by using FH for that DGW

                    2. Jarvish Scott Talent
                      • 5 Years
                      2 months, 4 days ago

                      The players you want for a DGW tend to be from the good teams, so there isn't usually too much of a mess to clean up afterwards.

                      1. Wild Rover
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 9 Years
                        2 months, 4 days ago

                        Depends how well they do 😉

                        1. Jarvish Scott Talent
                          • 5 Years
                          2 months, 4 days ago

                          Well, if you do it in GW37 and it is a shitshow it's season over anyway 🙂

                    3. baps sniffer
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      2 months, 4 days ago

                      You just make reverse transfers and you have your old team back. It is easy and possible. Naturally there is always price to pay.

                  • linkafu
                      2 months, 4 days ago

                      Is Richarlison ok for next GW?

                    • Kaiser123
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      2 months, 4 days ago

                      Folks need help. I have to some surgery with using WC. Im 25 points ahead in ML, so feel i can afford a few hits. Mane and Tammy seem the culprits to get rids, perhaps only Tammy and pray for Mane.

                      MCart
                      TAA Robbo Lund
                      KDB Grealish Son Fleck Mane
                      Vardy Tammy Ings

                      Button Kiko Kelly

                      1. Kaiser123
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        2 months, 4 days ago

                        without using WC i mean

                      2. Holmes
                        • 6 Years
                        2 months, 4 days ago

                        Abraham to Jimenez will do the job

                    • Mackans
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      2 months, 4 days ago

                      Thoughts on the following moves? (-4)

                      DCL, Manè & Söyüncü -> Auba, Fleck & Robbo

                    • Checko
                        2 months, 4 days ago

                        GTG? Split between Vardy and Auba. I am on a WC

                        Henderson
                        TAA lascelles Lund
                        KDB Salah Traore Grealish
                        Jimmy Ings Auba

                        mccarthy, o'connell, kelly, hayden

                        1. Checko
                            2 months, 4 days ago

                            Should mention this team leaves me with 0.5 ITB

                            I was considering downgrading Jimi to DCL and maybe upgrading elsewhere, and maybe just sticking with Vardy over Auba.

                        2. Mainswitch
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 2 Years
                          2 months, 4 days ago

                          Anyone seeing Bourne vs Villa as goals galore.? Is Callum Wilson worth a one week punt then?

                          1. how now brown cow
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 5 Years
                            2 months, 4 days ago

                            Not me

                        3. Pedersen
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          2 months, 4 days ago

                          Liverpool def seems awesome value recently, so are considering

                          Ryan, button
                          TAA, Robertson, VVD, Soy, Lund
                          Bruyne, Mahrez, Son, Grealish, Traore
                          Vardy, Jimenez, Ings.

                          Thoughts?

                        4. seanh17
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          2 months, 3 days ago

                          What are peoples thoughts on Perez? need a differential in my WC with a max of 6.5 price.