Fantasy set-piece specialists

The set-piece threat of Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos is well known, but who else could chip in?

Liverpool's James Milner enjoyed a record-breaking season in 2017/18
Liverpool's James Milner enjoyed a record-breaking season in 2017/18 ©Getty Images

A crucial factor in top-level football – and therefore Fantasy – is the set piece, which accounted for almost 20% of UEFA Champions League goals in 2017/18. But which teams and players might be particularly worthy of your attention?

When it come to free-kicks, Juventus aren't short of options. And all of them are lethal. Cristiano Ronaldo (FW, €12m) might be the focus but Paulo Dybala (FW, €10m) and Miralem Pjanić (MF, €8.5m) will also wave for the ball when there is a free-kick from the edge of the box, while Pjanić and João Cancelo (DF, €5m) are on corner duty.

With goal-scoring centre-back extraordinaire Sergio Ramos (DF, €6.5m) around, Real Madrid's menace from set-pieces is well known. The captain has also assumed penalty-taking responsibility this season, scoring twice from the spot in the Liga as well as in the UEFA Super Cup.

Atlético Madrid were Ramos' victims in the latter contest, although it was not so long ago that Atlético corner were known in Spain as 'penalty corners' given their potency. Koke (MF, €8.0m) has taken over while Antoine Griezmann (FW, €10.5m) is likely to be on free-kick duty.

Porto's Alex Telles gets plenty of goals
Porto's Alex Telles gets plenty of goals©AFP/Getty Images

James Milner (MF, €5.5m) provided a remarkable nine assists in last season's competition – a UEFA Champions League record – and the Liverpool man has been entrusted with the bulk of his side's set pieces this term, although Trent Alexander-Arnold (DF, €5.5m) has also been heavily involved.

At Lyon, Memphis Depay (FW, €8.5m) and Nabil Fekir (FW, €8.5m) both scored three goals from free-kicks last season, while Inter's new signing Matteo Politano (FW, €7m) can both score and create from set-pieces, and will take the majority of the Nerazzurri's dead balls when he's on the field.

There are several unheralded options that might be worth a second glance too. At Porto, left-back Alex Telles (DF, €5.5m) takes free-kicks and penalties while Benfica's Eduardo Salvio (MF, €5.5m) is on penalty duties this season and will largely be used up front.

Schalke are struggling in the Bundesliga but don't let that put you off Daniel Caligiuri (MF, €7.0m), who racked up ten assists last season. Naldo (DF, €5.0m) scored seven times in the 2017/18 Bundesliga, six of them from set pieces, and he's one of the unheralded options who could be worth a closer look.


 

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