Serie A Penalty Takers and Set Piece Specialists
All fantasy football players have to make sure they have set piece specialists dotted throughout their team and the points these footballers can provide often prove to be priceless in tournaments.
Penalties and free kicks both offer great opportunities for big points, with Serie A home to some of the best set piece specialists in world football.
Here is Fantasy Football Portal’s guide to some of Serie A’s top set pieces takers for your teams.
Josip Iličić has scored all six of the penalties he has taken for Fiorentina this season, making him by far the most reliable player in Serie A from 12 yards in recent months.
Iličić is also a threat from free-kicks and his 10 goals in Serie A this season should force him into the thinking of all daily fantasy football players.
The 28-year-old has also recorded five assists for his team, earning a WhoScored rating of 7.19 for his performances in Serie A for La Viola, who are well placed in the division’s top four.
From his 16 starts as an attacking midfielder in all competitions this season, Iličić has scored 12 goals and recorded a pair of assists – a truly outstanding return for the Slovenia international.
Miralem Pjanić has a fine claim to be the most reliable free-kick taker in world football today, with the Roma star well in double figures for set pieces scored for his club – which is even more impressive given he had to stand aside and watch Francesco Totti take free kicks for some time.
Pjanić has taken his inspiration from one of the best free-kick takers ever – his former teammate Juninho – who scored an incredible 44 goals from set pieces over the course of his career.
“Mire has incredible quality,” says Juninho. “He’s maybe the best free-kick taker in the world today. No, I’m sure of it – he is the best.”
Pjanić has already converted a handful of free-kicks this season and the Bosnia international is capable of scoring set pieces from all sorts of positions in the opposition half.
His overall Serie A record of eight goals and seven assists this season also marks him out as one of the finest all-round midfielders in the Italian top flight.
If any Serie A player is going to challenge Pjanić for the title of the best set piece specialist in the league, perhaps it is going to be the superb 22-year-old Juventus star Paulo Dybala.
Dybala showed his quality from dead ball situations earlier in the season, whipping a superb free-kick beyond the helpless Verona goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini in a 3-0 win for the Old Lady.
The Argentina international is also trusted with penalties for the Scudetto holders, converting all three of the spot kicks he has stepped up to take so far this season.
Dybala’s WhoScored rating for the Serie A season so far is a huge 7.72, one of the best scores in the league, with his expertise from penalties and set pieces contributing to that excellent mark.
Antonio Candreva is the main penalty taker for Lazio, but he is also a serious set piece threat for his team, although he has not been at his best from dead ball positions so far this season.
The Italy international has scored six goals from 19 appearances in Serie A so far this season, while he has scored three of the four penalties he has taken for the Biancocelesti.
Candreva’s form has not been great for much of the campaign, with Lazio struggling in mid-table mediocrity in Serie A, but he recently scored twice as his team beat Chievo 4-1.
Our final choice of set piece takers from Serie A to consider picking in your fantasy football teams is the Inter striker Éder, who is enjoying an extremely productive loan spell at Sampdoria this year.
The 29-year-old has scored three out of three penalties for his club this season, with only Fiorentina’s Iličić having been more productive from spot kicks in the current campaign.
Éder is worthy of consideration for his all-round talent, not just his penalty taking skill, as he has hit 12 goals from just 19 league games this season, despite Sampdoria struggling at the bottom of the Italian top flight, having failed to win since a 3-2 win at Genoa at the start of the year.
For a budget pick, Éder could be a fine selection to help fantasy players to balance their books.