Premier League pacesetters Liverpool and Manchester City have dominated the shortlist for the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award.
Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk and City’s Raheem Sterling however come in as the leading contenders for the coveted prize after playing pivotal roles in their sides’ charge for the title.
Liverpool defender Van Dijk joins teammate Sadio Mane on the list, while City forward Sterling is included alongside teammates Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard completes the nominees for the 2018-19 campaign, with the winner announced on 28 April at the PFA’s awards ceremony in London.
Van Dijk, signed from Southampton in January 2018, has been an ever-present rock at the heart of the Premier League’s tightest defence this campaign.
Senegal international Mane, included ahead of last year’s winner Mohamed Salah, has also enjoyed a stellar season for Jurgen Klopp’s side, hitting 18 league goals as the Anfield club attempt to end a 29-year wait to be champions.
Sterling, the bookmakers’ second favourite for the award behind 27-year-old Van Dijk, has been key for Pep Guardiola’s side with 17 goals and nine assists going into the weekend.
Sterling and Silva, both 24, are also on the shortlist for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
They are joined in that category by Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, Bournemouth winger David Brooks and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford.