A change in formation during the latter part of Wigan’s 2011-12 season transformed the fortunes of right-back and occasional centre-half Emmerson Boyce. Shifted out of defence and handed a role on the right of the Latics’ midfield, Boyce and fellow wide man Jean Beausejour patrolled the flanks magnificently to help secure Wigan’s Premier League safety over the final few months of the previous campaign.
Bearing in mind his side registered seven wins in their final nine matches last time round, it’s no surprise to see Roberto Martinez stick with this ploy. Having recovered from their opening day defeat to Chelsea, the Latics bounced back with a win and clean sheet at St Mary’s last weekend and, with a strong run of fixtures on the horizon, Boyce has climbed his way up our Watchlist rankings.
Priced at 5.0 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) and 5.5 in the Sky Sports game, the Latics man – who is classified as a defender in both games – offers us an intriguing mid-price alternative over the next few Gameweeks and, as Martinez’s men square up to a kind run of opponents (STO, mun, FUL, sun, EVE, swa), Boyce has the potential for points at both ends of the pitch. Granted, the Gameweek 4 clash with United stands out in this short term fixture list but, as Wigan’s 1-0 home win over the Red Devils last season showed, it will not be an encounter that is likely to intimidate Martinez.
In his six years at the club, Boyce has only scored seven goals for Wigan but, with three of those goals arriving during last season’s formation shift, savvy managers will have spotted his strong potential for points over the coming campaign. The last fixture of 2011/12 saw him bag a brace against Wolves, including a spectacular volley, highlighting the attacking capabilities of the former Barbados international.
Already this season we have seen how integral Boyce’s delivery from the flank is to Wigan’s game plan. His well worked cross, that ultimately Manuel Figueroa failed to convert, proved to be the Latics’ best attempt on goal during the first half of their 2-0 victory over Southampton. While he’s yet to pick up an assist, Boyce has done enough to suggest he could well be on the cusp of attacking returns as Martinez looks to build on their Gameweek 2 triumph and avoid the customary battle to beat the drop.
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For Gameweek 38
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“I am happy with the way I’ve started, but on the other hand, I should have scored four or five more, so that’s something for me to work on.”Robin Van Persie talks about his early form at United ahead of his first Manchester derby