World Cup 2018 Set Piece and Penalty Takers – Helpful DFS Guide

SOCHI, RUSSIA - June 15: Cristiano Ronaldo #7 of Portugal looks on during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Portugal and Spain at Fisht Stadium on June 15, 2018 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - June 15: Cristiano Ronaldo #7 of Portugal looks on during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Portugal and Spain at Fisht Stadium on June 15, 2018 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
World Cup DFS Set Piece Takers
World Cup Set Piece Takers DFS: Cristiano Ronaldo #7 of Portugal looks on during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Portugal and Spain at Fisht Stadium on June 15, 2018 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Here is a helpful guide to the set piece takers for all 32 World Cup sides. This is the knowledge you need to help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel soccer this summer.

Whenever you are building a winning DFS lineup you need information. It is important to gather as much as much as possible to find that nugget to help separate your lineup from the pack. There is no more important info is soccer DFS than who is taking set pieces.

Corners, free kicks and penalties are crucial parts of the game. They are also some of the only truly predictable moments of a soccer match. The fluid nature of the game makes it hard to predict much of what will happen and which players will play well. Yet you almost always know who will take the set pieces.

That means you know that your lineup will have some guys who for certain create chances and have an increased likelihood of getting those precious goals and assists that decide who takes down a GPP.

There are 32 teams at the World Cup, some have very obscure players. The question I am asked most often on Twitter – @davidgatesports – is who is taking those set pieces? Therefore I have put together this handy guide for the rest of the World Cup for each country ordered by their group.

Here all the corner takers, free kick specialists and designated penalty takers for every team in the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia.

World Cup DFS Set piece takers
YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA – JUNE 15: Luis Suarez of Uruguay walks across the pitch during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group A match between Egypt and Uruguay at Ekaterinburg Arena on June 15, 2018 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images) /

World Cup Set Piece Takers: Group A


The Pharoahs are all about one man; Mohamed Salah. He is the penalty taker – he scored a 90th minute clutch penalty against Congo to send them to the tournament. His left foot is also the most likely to take a direct free kick and is often on corners. If his shoulder doesn’t hold out for the last group game then look to Mohamed Elneny to take over.


The tournament hosts’ best set piece taker is Fedor Smolov. When he is in the team he takes the penalties and direct free kicks. Though he is not a guaranteed starter. If he misses out then the penalty and free kick duties go to first round hattrick hero Aleksandr Golovin. Corners are usually taken by Aleksandr Samedov regardless of other starters.

Saudi Arabia

You might think – who cares? Yes they are terrible. Yes they are the worst team in the tournament. But they are also priced that way on DFS sites. That means you can get a set piece taker at a bargain price and you never know. There main man is Salman Al Faraj on set pieces with striker Mohammad Al-Sahlawi on penalties.


The South Americans have lots of capable options for set pieces. Generally Luis Suarez is the Alpha Dog of the group, especially for penalties. Edinson Cavani can line up as a free kick taker. When they want both those players in the box late in the game Carlos Sanchez is the guy to deliver.

FanDuel World Cup
World Cup Set Piece Takers: David Silva of Spain looks on prior to the International Friendly match between Spain and Switzerland at Estadio de La Ceramica on June 3, 2018 in Villareal, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images) /

World Cup Set Piece Takers: Group B


The surprise leaders of Group B after the first week of games. They have two main set piece takers. The first is left back Ehsan Hajsafi who whips a mean cross with his left foot. The other player on their roster who is an expert set piece man is former Fulham man Ashkan Dejagah who is also the squad captain. I would plump the latter if he starts in their final two group games.


The unequivocal lead set piece taker in this Morocco squad is star midfielder Hakim Ziyech. He mans the free kicks, penalties and corners. I am sure he wants to take goal kicks too.  He is also their top play maker and a decent pick for the rest of their tournament.


They have a guy you may have heard of; Cristiano Ronaldo. He will take every penalty. He will also  take any direct free kick in the opposition half. And he will shoot. Despite not scoring a free kick in 8 years he bagged the winner against Spain in the group opener. He doesn’t take corners though; that belongs to Joao Moutinho unless Ricardo Quaresma is on the pitch.


Despite having a ton of good set piece taker they hand all three duties over to David Silva. That is the main reason he is the highest priced midfielder on every slate he is on at this tournament. If he gets subbed for fresh legs they go to Sergio Ramos for penalties and Thiago Alcântara for the others.

World Cup Set piece penalties
World Cup Set Piece Takers: Antoine Griezmann of France controls the ball in the air during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group C match between France and Australia at Kazan Arena on June 16, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

World Cup Set Piece Takers: Group C


The Socceroos have two players who dominate these duties. First is Crystal Palace man Mile Jedinak who scored a penalty in their opener. Huddersfield Town midfielder Aaron Mooy is his back up for penalties and splits corners and free kicks with his team-mate.


The Danes have maybe the best set piece taker in the World Cup; Christian Eriksen. The Spurs man is a constant threat from corners and free kicks. He also gets the penalty duties for his international side rather than concede to Harry Kane like he does in the Premier League. His pricing didn’t reflect that boost in potential for the first game… something to watch.


The French have some capable and confident players but Antoine Griezmann is the guy who is leading the pack at the moment. He is on penalties and most direct free kicks while Paul Pogba is the designated corner taker. Watch out for Kylian Mbappe – Les Bleus rising star – who may eat into some of these opportunities.


The South Americans will struggle to score in the remainder of their games but if they do it will most likely come from Jefferson Farfan. The striker is on direct free kicks and could be on penalties after Christian Cueva missed in the first round. Yoshimar Yotún is the man to grab an assist from a corner or indirect free kick.

FanDuel World Cup set piece takers
World Cup Set Piece Takers: Lionel Messi of Argentina reacts following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Argentina and Iceland at Spartak Stadium on June 16, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images) /

World Cup Set Piece Takers: Group D


Another guy you may know. Lionel Messi is the greatest player of all time so, yeah, he will take the penalties and the free kicks. Though – if like me – you played him in week one, you know he doesn’t always score. Ouch. Angel Di Maria is the man on most corners for the South Americans.


The Croats have two La Liga stars who share the free kicks and corners. Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic is the primary free kick and corner taker unless they are from deep. His club rival Luka Modric takes the deeper free kicks and is the designated penalty taker.


The Icelanders are another team who share the load between two guys. Premier League column regulars will be familiar with Johann Berg Gudmundsson. He is the free kick specialist of the bunch and takes half the corners. Their best player is Gylfi Sigurdsson. Despite a poor season for Everton he is the penalty taker and chief man on corners.


Chelsea wing back Victor Moses takes the penalties for the Super Eagles but freekick duties are usually handled by a combination of Jon Obi Mikel and Ogenyi Onazi. The spread of chances and the lack of creativity in this side means you probably aren’t picking a Nigerian player in DFS for their set piece upside.

World Cup Set Piece Takers
World Cup Set Piece Takers: Neymar Jr of Brazil during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at Rostov Arena on June 17, 2018 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images) /

World Cup Set Piece Takers: Group E


Another team with a global superstar who will hog the limelight. Neymar has that greedy streak that all top players have. He takes all penalties and direct free kicks and even some corners. However he is not always fit. He is rumored to have an injury that could keep him out for a game or two. In that event Philippe Coutinho gets a huge bump. And he may even be better than his teammate.

Costa Rica

Penalties for Costa Rica are the domain of midfielder Celso Borges. However he leaves corners and free kicks to his colleagues. Bryan Ruiz is the chief taker of goal scoring free kick opportunities. MLS man David Guzmán gets the corners and some other free kicks.


The World Cup dark horses have some excellent options. Southampton man Dusan Tadic is the penalty taker and often bags assists from corners. Direct free kicks belong to Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojević on the left and Roma’s Aleksandar Kolarov on the right. All three share corners.


Much like Serbia the Swiss have a decent selection and spread it around. Left back Ricardo Rodríguez has wrestled the penalty duties and Granit Xhaka is the reserve. The pair share deliveries from corners and free kicks with Liverpool target Xherdan Shaqiri the man to shoot from the edge of the box.

World Cup Set Piece Takers
World Cup Set Piece Takers: Mesut Ozil of Germany reacts during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images) /

World Cup Set Piece Takers: Group F


The man with the set piece responsibilities right now is Mesut Ozil. He is the penalty taker and takes some free kicks. However his place in the side is under threat. He has never scored a free kick for Germany and hasn’t got one for Arsenal since who knows… when. Toni Kroos is primed to take over.


The Mexicans opening game against Germany was a break out on the world stage for Hirving “Chucky” Lozano. The PSV winger was excellent and scored their only goal. He has also risen to be a leading free kick and corner taker. Raúl Jiménez has been the penalty taker but he has lost his place to Lozano. It will either be Lozano or Jesús Gallardo going forward.

South Korea

In previous years midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol has been the go to man. Though his primacy is fading to Premier League stars Son Heung-Min and Ki Sung-Yueng. The latter being the more proficient of the two at corners and free kicks.


Sweden are unusual in that their chief penalty taker is a defender. Captain Andreas Granqvist has the role and that is a huge upside in DFS play. The current man on free kicks is Emil Forsberg while corners are dominated by the wicked delivery of Sebastian Larsson if he starts.

World Cup Set Piece Takers
World Cup Set Piece Takers: Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium looks on during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between Belgium and Panama at Fisht Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) /

World Cup Set Piece Takers: Group G


The third ranked team in this tournament have no shortage of world-class options for these duties. Eden Hazard is the man tasked with taking the penalties. Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne is chief free kick and corner taker but Dries Mertens is also in the picture.


The Three Lions showed off their set pieces against Tunisia in the opener scoring from two corners with different takers. The wing backs are on respective in-swinging duties; Ashley Young on the left and Kieran Trippier on the right. Harry Kane is the penalty taker and most likely from free kicks though Young and Jordan Henderson will also be in the mix.


There is no real rhythm to the set piece takers for the first participants at the World Cup. Normally Gabriel Torres is on penalties but he did not start the opener. The best bet for set piece duties is Aníbal Godoy who plays for the San Jose Eathquakes in the MLS.


Ferjani Sassi scored a penalty against England and will continue in that role. Forwards Wahbi Khazri and Naïm Sliti line up for shooting free kicks and some corners but both were substituted against England. Sassi is the man from this group.

World Cup Set Piece Takers
World Cup Set Piece Takers: Referee Damir Skomina speaks with James Rodriguez of Colombia who protests during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group H match between Colombia and Japan at Mordovia Arena on June 19, 2018 in Saransk, Russia. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) /

World Cup Set Piece Takers: Group H


The Colombians opening game is a prime example of why you need to know who the backups are. Star man James Rodriguez did not start with a calf injury and he usually takes all the set pieces. In his place is Juan Cuadrado. However he went off – subbed – early in the game. That left Radamel Falcao as the man with the responsibilities.


The undisputed star of this team is Shinji Kagawa. He scored an early penalty against Colombia and handled all the free kick and corner duties. The only thing to be aware of is if Keisuke Honda starts. In that scenario the senior player takes the duties, including penalties.


Striker Robert Lewandowski is the Alpha of this group and handles all penalties and goal scoring free kicks. Deliveries from corners and free kicks are the domain of Jakub Blaszczykowski with Hull City winger Kamil Grosicki as primary backup.


Star player Sadio Mane is the one to step up to take spot kicks and is always a threat from shooting free kicks. Elsewhere Keita Balde is an option if he starts and left back Youssouf Sabaly is the left footed option to complement Mane’s right foot.

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