London: Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gareth Bale is hot favourite to win the Player of the Year Award from his fellow professionals after the short-list for this season's nominations was issued on Friday.
The Wales international, 23, is also favourite to win the Young Player of the Year Award, the other honour voted by members of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), after scoring 22 goals for Spurs and five for Wales this season.
He was also named PFA Player of the Year in 2011 and early indications show he is the front-runner for the Footballer of the Year Award voted on by members of England's Football Writers Association.
He faces some strong opposition though, as Robin van Persie has had a fine first season at Manchester United scoring 25 goals, despite a 10-game goal drought which ended last week, while Luis Suarez has been in superb form for Liverpool with 29 goals.
Bale was installed as the 4/11 favourite by bookmakers SkyBet, ahead of Van Persie and Suarez, both 4/1, Juan Mata of Chelsea (66/1) and outsiders, Eden Hazard of Chelsea and Michael Carrick of Manchester United, both rated at 100/1.
Bale was enjoying a purple patch when the voting opened and he scored 11 goals in 12 matches between January and March, leading Spurs' challenge for a top four finish.
He has missed the last two games with an ankle injury but is back in contention for Sunday's Premier League home match against Manchester City, manager Andre Villas-Boas said.