Who is the first choice penalty taker for Chelsea?
Chelsea were only awarded 4 penalties during the course of the 2016/17 Premier League season, with Eden Hazard scoring 2 from 3 while Diego Costa missed the other.
Antonio Conte would have been disappointed that his side were awarded so few spot-kicks but the Blues more than made up for it with the quality of their set pieces.
In fact, this was one of the areas where they stole a march on their title rivals, perhaps swinging the race in their favour. They scored 22 times, conceding 7 in the process from set piece situations for a goal difference of +15. By comparison, their 2 closest rivals’ Spurs and Manchester City had set piece differences of +6 and +2 respectively.
Perhaps, a lack of involvement in European club competitions meant that the Blues had more time to spend on the training ground, fine-tuning all aspects of their attacking and defensive work relating to dead ball scenarios – if that was the case it was certainly worth the investment!
Hazard remains first choice penalty taker but Willian and Cesc Fàbregas are alternatives, while former Arsenal super-sub Olivier Giroud is also an option.
Who takes corner kicks and direct free kicks for Chelsea?
Chelsea are blessed with a crop of talented free kick takers.
Marcos Alonso has emerged as one of the standout defensive picks across Fantasy Premier League formats due to his wing-back status and willingness to join in the attack at every opportunity, so the fact that he is also the Blues’ preferred option on free kicks from right-sided situations around the box just adds icing to the cake.
Willian is also among the Premier League’s elite when it comes to direct free kicks, having mastered his technique by watchcing videos of David Beckham, while Hazard, Fàbregas and David Luiz are also likely to be involved in a number of dead ball plays.
It remains to be seen just how effective Chelsea will be from corner kicks, now that John Terry has departed and the fact that Gary Cahill is no longer an assured starter but Giroud’s aerial ability is sure to be a valuable weapon if and when he is utilised.
The onus will therefore be on the likes of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger to ensure that the Blues remain competitive in this aspect of the game.
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