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5 Favourites to Win Premier League Player of the Season Award: Haaland, Rashford Saka In, De Bruyne Snubbed
- The Premier League title race is expected to go down to the wire, with Arsenal and Manchester City firmly in the race
- Apart from that, individual honours will be on the line as well, with Erling Haaland leading the way
- A couple of Arsenal players will also receive nominations, with Kevin De Bruyne set to be snubbed
A lot will be at stake as the Premier League returns this weekend. All eyes will be on the early kickoff when Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool travel to Etihad looking to derail Manchester City's ambitions of making it three Premier League wins in a row.
Erling Haaland is a doubt for the fixture, and it will be interesting to see how Pep Guardiola's men will fare without the league's top scorer.
That notwithstanding, the Norwegian is the outright favourite to win the Player of the Season Award in his maiden season in England. His 28 goals, and counting, have put him a cut above the rest. He is also on course to breaking the greatest number of goals in one season if he maintains his trajectory.
Sports Brief takes a look at the other players who could rival the 22-year-old for the individual gong currently held by Levin De Bruyne.
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1. Bukayo Saka.
Star Boy! Saka is the only player in the league who has attained double digits in both goals and assists so far. He has been the main attacking force of an Arsenal side that has shown no mercy to opponents this season.
Winning the Premier League will certainly give him an advantage over Haaland. And if Haaland beats him to it, he is certainly set to win the young player of the season.
2. Martin Odegaard
While Saka has been the face of Arsenal's attack, his captain has been behind him, threading the lines and delivering pin-point passes. For his efforts, he has been rewarded with 10 goals and six assists.
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So good has he been that he has been compared to De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes. The latter still leads the assist charts, mind you.
3. Marcus Rashford
Someone could easily say that if Rashford can keep playing with the same intensity he is playing with right now, then it will only be a matter of months before he wins the Ballon d'Or.
The Manchester United man has upped the tempo since the World Cup, adding a flurry of positive things to his game. Erik ten Hag's side are way off the top, 19 points to be precise, but there is no denying that Rashford has been brilliant on an individual level. He has 14 goals this season.
4. Miguel Almiron
Newcastle might have suffered a slump this year but methinks Almiron still deserves a shoutout. So bereft of confidence has the Paraguayan been in recent seasons that his 11-goal tally this season deserves plaudits.
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Eddie Howe's side can still secure Champions League football next season and if Almiron can regain his form of early season, the Magpies will be in business. However, he is currently out with injury and that could complicate his chances.
Reigning holder De Brune has been omitted, given Haaland's astronomical numbers. Choosing the Belgian ahead of Haaland sends a notion that he has been the better player at Manchester City this season, which is false.
Gabriel Martinelli could also be among the nominees alongside his teammate William Saliba. Perennial candidate Mohamed Salah is out of contention, given Liverpool's struggles this season.
Harry Kane and Ivan Toney make the top three of the top scorers' charts but given that no silverware will be going their way this season, it is hard to make a case for them.
Premier League fixture difficulty
Sports Brief has also reported that with 10 games to go, Arsenal will be hoping to hold on to their eight-point lead and secure a first Premier League trophy since 2004.
Manchester City are the closest challengers to Mikel Arteta's charges, with an early kick-off match against Liverpool on April Fools' Day set to get the ball rolling.
The title race might be a two-horse race but on the opposite end, only four points separate 12th-placed Crystal Palace and bottom-placed Southampton.