Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale is the 1/4 favourite to win the PFA Player of the Year award after the nominees were announced today, with Manchester United duo Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick, Chelsea pair Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez making up the shortlist.
With no goalkeepers or defenders nominated and surprise omissions including Swansea City’s Michu, Leighton Baines of Everton and Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla, Spurs’ Welsh wonder is the strong front runner after a season in which he has scored 17 Premier League goals in Tottenham’s quest for a Champions League finish.
Premier League top scorer Suarez, who has shone in an inconsistent Liverpool side, is an 11/2 chance, the same price as Van Persie, who is one goal shy of the Uruguayan’s total of 22 goals and is set to claim his first-ever league winners medal with United.
Punters registering with bwin today can claim a free £20 bet and placing this on Van Persie to retain the award he won last year after firing 30 goals for Arsenal would pocket winnings of £130 if successful.
Chelsea playmaker Mata is 50/1 to win the gong after an excellent season where he has scored ten goals and provided 14 assists, while his team-mate Eden Hazard, with eight goals and 14 assists to his name, is a 66/1 chance.
Also 66/1 is Carrick, who was nominated for the first time after enjoying a fine season in midfield for the champions-elect, making 32 appearances and playing an instrumental role for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
But the majority of the money could well come in for Bale as he aims to add a second individual prize to the one he picked up at the end of the 2010/11 season.
Bale and Hazard have also both been nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award alongside Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, West Brom hitman Romelu Lukaku, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, and Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck.