The statistical anomaly undermining Leeds United's Premier League promotion bid

Leeds United have spent this week trying to score more goals from corners with manager Daniel Farke admitting it will come into his thinking in the next transfer window.

Despite only two teams having won more than Leeds' 259 corners in this season’s Championship, their conversion rate is very poor.

All teams have their weak spots, and if the Whites were still winning games without them, no one would really bat an eyelid. But they won 25 flag kicks in last week's matches and did not win – or score in – either.

It is a wider problem with set-pieces in general.

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INJURY BLOW: Pascal Struijk's absence has been keenly felt at Leeds United set piecesINJURY BLOW: Pascal Struijk's absence has been keenly felt at Leeds United set pieces
INJURY BLOW: Pascal Struijk's absence has been keenly felt at Leeds United set pieces

Despite being a team who spends the majority of most games attacking – say they are third for possession, second for the number of shots they have – only relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers and Plymouth Argyle have scored fewer goals than their eight from set-pieces.

According to, Leeds have made 91 passes from dead-ball situations which have led to a shot, but only three have resulted in goals. Only Plymouth do worse.

Leeds are reckoned to have had 20 shots from free-kicks, the fourth highest in the division.

Part of it is a sacrifice they have chosen to make.

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"We normally have height but if you look at how many goals Joe Rodon, Ethan Ampadu or even Georgie Rutter have scored from corner kicks you won't find many," says Farke.

"We're not magicians to make set-piece threats out of them."

There has been bad luck too, with one of their most dangerous players at corners, Pascal Struijk, injured since Christmas.

Despite this, it is a problem Farke wants to work on – with better short corner routines in the immediate term, and transfers in the summer.

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"We're working on different solutions and short solutions to try to do something out of this," said the German, who saw his team win 25 corners in the last two matches, both of which Leeds failed to score in.

"It's definitely something we have to improve and we'll keep this in mind with what we do in the transfer market because to have aerial threats and be good in the transfer market is always an important topic. It's a bit unlucky Pascal is not there at the moment but it's something we need to add a bit more of."

One of Leeds’ best chances at home to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday came when they worked a corner for Ilia Gruev to shoot wide, rather than simply lumping into into the area.

The strange thing is that Leeds are decent in the air in open play. Depending which website you look at, they only rank 18th or 19th for the number of aerial balls won but that seems to be because the ball spends less time in the air when they play. When it comes to the percentage, they are in the top four.

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