Nominees for the annual Professional Footballers' Association Awards were announced on Friday, honouring the top Premier League performers this season.
This year's winners will be announced in London on Sunday, April 27, and below is the list of finalists for the coveted Premier League Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year gongs:
|Players' Player of the Year||Eden Hazard, Steven Gerrard, Yaya Toure, Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez, Adam Lallana|
|Young Player of the Year||Luke Shaw, Aaron Ramsey, Daniel Sturridge, Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling, Eden Hazard|
Names to Watch For
Luis Suarez, Liverpool
Reds striker Luis Suarez appears to be a lock to win the Player of the Year award after setting the Premier League ablaze in 2013-14.
The Uruguayan international scored 29 goals in his first 27 league appearances and has also been one of the league's top creators, according to Opta Sports on Twitter:
12 - Luis Suarez has provided more assists than any other Premier League player this season (12). Vision.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 13, 2014
Suarez came close to winning Player of the Year a season ago, finishing second behind former Tottenham Hotspur star Bale.
The 27-year-old is also surely nailed on to land in the Team of the Year, which will highlight the best 11 players of the season.
Eden Hazard, Chelsea
If there's a favourite to win the PFA's Young Player of the Year award, it's got to be Chelsea star Eden Hazard, who turned 23 in January, qualifying him for the award which requires nominees to be 23 or younger at the start of the season.
The Belgian's tally of 14 league goals leads all Chelsea players in 2013-14 and his ability to create for others has proven crucial for the Blues, who are in contention for the league crown this spring.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho had high praise for Hazard earlier this season, via ESPN.co.uk:
"I keep saying he has to improve. He needs to have his feet on the ground. Ronaldo and Messi are Ronaldo and Messi. Eden Hazard is probably the best young player in the world with legs to go there, but give him time."
Like Suarez, Hazard will have an excellent shot to earn additional honours in the Premier League Team of the Year. Keep in mind Hazard made the 11-man squad a season ago.
Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool
Liverpool stud Daniel Sturridge has taken a backseat to Suarez throughout the season but has somehow been the Premier League's second-most dangerous weapon, scoring 20 goals and dishing out more than half a dozen assists for the high-octane Reds.
Having played the first month of the season at age 23, Sturridge qualifies for the Young Player of the Year award, and can make a strong case along with Hazard.
However, both players are battling through injury down the season's final stretch, which could potentially impact how the votes stack up.
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