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FPL set-pieces: Penalties pay off for Pogba

The Scout 7 Jun 2019
Paul Pogba, Manchester United

The Scout on how the Man Utd midfielder's spot-kick duties brought the best out of his potential

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 United

Penalty kicks played a huge part in helping Paul Pogba (£8.5m) record his best-ever season in FPL.

The midfielder had scored just 11 goals in the previous two campaigns after returning to United from Juventus in the summer of 2016.

But his new role as their first-choice man for penalties transformed his potential.

Man Utd set-piece takers
Choice Penalty Corner Free-kick
First Pogba Young Rashford
Second Martial Mata Pogba
Third Lukaku Shaw Young

The Red Devils were awarded 12 spot-kicks in 2018/19, more than any other side.

Pogba stepped up for 10 of them, finding the net with seven of his attempts.

The Frenchman netted only five of his 13 goals from open play last season.

Yet he still finished as the seventh highest-scoring midfielder on 179 points, with 10 assists also to his name.

Rashford rise

Marcus Rashford (£8.5m) was another to benefit from dead-ball duties.

The forward fired 12 shots from direct free-kicks, joint-third with Christian Eriksen (£9.0m).

Rashford also recorded 21 shots from free-kicks or corners, more than any team-mate.

Having established himself as a regular under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer midway through the season, the 21-year-old’s influence looks set to grow in 2019/20.

Aerial adjustments

United’s aerial threat at free-kicks and corners has room for improvement.

The 10 headed shots by Chris Smalling (£5.5m) at set-pieces was a team-leading figure.

Indeed, from Solskjaer’s first match in charge in Gameweek 18, they struggled in this particular area.

Smalling and Victor Lindelof (£5.5m) were their top performers, despite managing only five headed shots each in the final 21 Gameweeks.

Young supply

Ashley Young's (£5.5m) 30 successful corners into the penalty area ranked sixth overall in FPL.

Put into perspective, Young provided 20 of United’s 28 successful corners under Solskjaer.

But the right-back's starting spot in 2019/20 may not be secure after the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.5m).

It's also worth noting that Luke Shaw (£5.5m) took 10 corners after the new manager was appointed, which could also boost the left-back's assist potential in 2019/20.

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

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