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FPL set-pieces: De Bruyne can lift Man City tally

The Scout 6 Jun 2019
Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City

The Scout on why Belgian’s return to fitness will raise champions’ potential for more goals

When building a Fantasy Premier League squad, knowing the set-piece takers for each club can give managers the edge over mini-league rivals.

Ahead of 2019/20, The Scout analyses which players to target.

Manchester City

Having scored 95 goals on their way to the title, Man City's key attackers richly rewarded their Fantasy owners last season.

Yet their record from set-pieces suggests there is still room for improvement.

They had 147 shots from free-kicks and corners in 2018/19, the third-highest total in the Premier League.

But they scored from only 12 of those situations, or 8.2 per cent.

By comparison, their title rivals Liverpool netted 22 set-piece goals, converting 15.5 per cent of their 142 attempts.

Man City's set-piece takers
Choice Penalty Corner Free-kick
First Aguero De Bruyne De Bruyne
Second Jesus Gundogan Sane
Third Mahrez Sane David Silva

Kevin De Bruyne's absence for the majority of the season was a key factor.

The Belgian was restricted to only 11 appearances due to injury and managed only two goals and three assists.

De Bruyne's performances in the previous campaign highlight the huge influence he can have for Man City.

In 2017/18, only three players in FPL bettered his 34 chances created from set-pieces.

And he was ranked second for both successful corners into the box and direct free-kick attempts, with 40 and 15 respectively.

Sorely missed

The underlying statistics this season show the champions suffered without De Bruyne.

Ilkay Gundogan was their top performer for chances created at set-pieces, with 16, and successful corners into the box, with 19.

And Leroy Sane's total of five direct free-kick attempts was a team-leading figure.

As such a dominant player for Pep Guardiola's side, De Bruyne's return to full fitness can be a big boost for FPL managers in 2019/20.

Aerial prowess

It can also be good news for Aymeric Laporte, who was Man City's main threat at set-pieces last term.

The Frenchman scored all three of his goals this way, from a total of 17 attempts.

Indeed, Laporte’s total of 15 headed shots from set-pieces was bettered by only seven FPL defenders.

Sergio Aguero remains Man City's first-choice penalty taker, converting both of his efforts from the spot.

But the vast majority of the Argentinian's goals came from open play. He netted 18 of his 20 efforts this way, second only to the 21 of Liverpool's Sadio Mane.

See: FPL set-pieces: Players to target from each club

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