In years gone by, set-piece success was a skill mastered by sides towards the bottom of the table, with managers such as Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis viewing corners and free kicks as golden opportunities to put pressure on their opponents.
In recent years, teams at the top of the Premier League have started to take set pieces more seriously and they have reaped the rewards. Last season, the three teams who scored the most goals from corners were Liverpool, Tottenham, and Arsenal – all members of the traditional “big six”. Erling Haaland, the runaway Golden Boot winner, scored five of his goals from corners.
This season, the trend has continued. Arsenal have had the most success from set pieces this season with 14 goals coming from corners, free kicks, and penalties. Declan Rice has gone on corner duty in recent weeks with great success while Gabriel has proven to be a great goalscoring threat from set pieces throughout his time in North London.
While creating goalscoring opportunities from corners is great, being able to defend them successfully is equally as important. Man City and Fulham have conceded the least number of goals from set pieces this season (two) while Nottingham Forest, who are languishing towards the bottom of the table, have conceded the most – 13 goals.
Corner betting markets this weekend – Our tips
Arsenal vs Newcastle – Over 10.5 corners
Arsenal have scored the most goals from corners this season and they will look to add to their tally this weekend when they face Newcastle. The Gunners are averaging 7.52 corners per match in the Premier League this season (second only to Man City) while they are forced to defend, on average, 2.8 corners per match.
Given how well the Gunners have been playing in recent weeks, they are certainly going to be on the front foot at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday night. This should lend itself to the over/under corner market, especially as they are playing a Newcastle side who concede close to five corners per match on average.
Man Utd vs Fulham – Over 11.5 corners
Man Utd welcome to Old Trafford on Saturday looking to win their fifth consecutive Premier League match. One of their goals last weekend against Luton came from a corner but they will do well to score one this weekend considering Fulham's impressive record at defending set pieces so far this season.
Despite that, the over 11.5 total corners market is definitely worth considering. Man Utd are averaging 12.92 corners per match (for and against) which is the highest average in the league. Fulham, who will look to play on the counter-attack on Saturday, are averaging 10.12.
Brighton vs Everton – Under 10.5 corners
Brighton take on Everton at the weekend in a match between two clubs who have very different attitudes to set pieces. Brighton often like to play short from corners and free kicks while Everton like to load the box and make life difficult for their opponents. Everton have the best conversion rate from set pieces this season, however, they are also statistically one of the worst teams at defending them.
Brighton, meanwhile, are 19th in the Premier League table for corner average. They only average 5.28 offensive corners and 4.20 defensive corners per match – only Crystal Palace have a lower average. Everton aren't much higher with a total average of 10.72 which makes the under 10.5 corners market particularly appealing.