LONDON, England, April 19- Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie are in the running for a second PFA Player of the Year award after a six-man shortlist was revealed.
The 2013 winner will be announced at a dinner in London on Sunday April 28, with van Persie’s Manchester United team-mate Michael Carrick, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Juan Mata the other nominees.
Bale was crowned in 2011 but has hit career-best form this term, his thrilling bursts of speed and 17 Premier League goals inspiring Tottenham’s Champions League charge.
Van Persie was honoured last year after his most fruitful campaign for Arsenal but a £24million move to Manchester United has proved no burden, his 21 league goals for the champions-elect decisive in the title race.
Hazard has netted 12 times for Chelsea in his first season since joining from Lille for £32m, while Juan Mata’s influence has grown in his second term at Stamford Bridge, the Spaniard contributing a league-best 10 assists as well as 18 goals.
Suarez has long courted controversy but Liverpool’s talisman has made the back pages for more of the right reasons in Brendan Rodgers’ debut campaign at Anfield with a leading 22 goals in the Premier League and 29 in all competitions.
The PFA has also introduced a new award for the stars of the women’s game, with Arsenal and England striker Gemma Davidson, Everton forward Toni Duggan, Seattle and Wales midfielder Jessica Fishlock, Kim Little and Jordan Nobbs – also from Arsenal – and on-loan Birmingham forward Jodie Taylor the six nominees.