Fantasy Premier League

FPL set-pieces: Balbuena a big 2019/20 target

By The Scout 11 Jun 2019
Fabian Balbuena, West Ham

The Scout on why West Ham defender's ability in the air makes him a contender for Fantasy squads this season

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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.

West Ham United

The aerial threat of Fabian Balbuena (£4.5m) can be a big factor for West Ham in 2019/20.

The centre-back was limited to just 23 appearances due to injury last season.

Yet his total of 19 shots and 15 headed shots from set-pieces were still both more than any team-mate.

Balbuena was a major presence in such scenarios before sustaining an injury against Watford in Gameweek 18.

Indeed, the Paraguayan's 13 headed shots were second only to the 19 of Michael Keane (£5.5m) among all players in FPL in that period.

West Ham's set-piece takers
Choice Penalty Corner Free-kick
First Noble Snodgrass Lanzini
Second Arnautovic Anderson Anderson
Third - Lanzini Arnautovic

The role of Robert Snodgrass (£5.5m) as West Ham's first-choice taker of free-kicks and corners could be under threat this season.

The midfielder created 37 chances at set-pieces last term, the third-highest total in FPL.

He took 115 of the 188 corners awarded to Manuel Pellegrini’s men. 

But the return to fitness of Manuel Lanzini (£6.5m) forced Snodgrass on to the bench towards the end of 2018/19.

Felipe Anderson (£7.0m) took 49 of West Ham’s corners last term and could be their new number one, with Lanzini also handed a share.

Free-kick improvement needed

When it comes to direct free-kicks, Lanzini appears to be the go-to man.

He fired three attempts in just 689 minutes, only two fewer than Anderson recorded all season.

However, the Hammers will need to improve their accuracy, having failed to score with all 17 of their direct free-kicks in 2018/19.

Penalty prowess

Mark Noble (£5.0m) is West Ham's main man for penalties.

The central midfielder scored four of his five goals from the spot, converting all four of his attempts.

Forward Marko Arnautovic (£7.0m) stepped up to take and score West Ham’s other penalty.

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

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