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Bale odds-on for PFA gong

Gareth Bale is a hot favourite to win the PFA Player of the Year award after being named on the six-man shortlist.

Last Updated: 19/04/13 at 18:30 Post Comment

Gareth Bale: PFA Player of the Year in 2010/11

Gareth Bale: PFA Player of the Year in 2010/11

Gareth Bale has been backed into 1/2 to win both the PFA Players' Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year awards after being confirmed on both shortlists.

The Tottenham star was initially installed as the 4/7 favourite for the Players' Player of the Year but has been backed into 1/4 by Sky Bet punters, while also attracting the majority of support for the Young Player of the Year.

Bale is even shorter for that award at 1/6, and the 23-year-old Welshman has been backed in from 2/1 to 1/2 to become only the third player to claim both accolades.

Sky Bet's Football Trader Chris Spicer said: "Bale has attracted over half of the bets for the main honour and over 90 per cent of stakes for the Young Player of the Year award, while our punters quickly lapped up the 2/1 for him to win both, prompting a major price shift.

"The Welshman is also the third favourite in the Ballon D'Or betting at 14/1, with Lionel Messi (4/7) and Cristiano Ronaldo (9/4) still considered the game's top two players."

Bale, who won the award two years ago, has 22 goals in total this season, although critics would say he started the campaign somewhat slowly before hitting top form in February and March when the votes were cast.

The Leeds-based firm had both Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez - the two men battling it out for the Premier League's Golden Boot - at 4/1 initially. However, both quickly drifted as the money came for Bale with Van Persie out to 10/1 and Suarez lengthening to 5s. He could struggle for votes having been embroiled in a racism row last season.

The other contenders' chances have been written off with Chelsea's Juan Mata at 40/1 and both team-mate Eden Hazard and Manchester United's Michael Carrick even bigger.

Bale and Hazard are also nominated for the Young Player of the Year award with the Spurs man again quickly cut from 11/10 to 1/6. He was also cut from 2/1 to 8/13 to complete the awards double - something only achieved twice before.

Andy Gray did so in the 70s, while Cristiano Ronaldo scooped both prizes in 2006/07.

Aston Villa's Christian Benteke is next in the betting. The Belgian striker, who has bagged 19 goals in his first season in England despite playing in a struggling Aston Villa side, was a 6/1 shot come Friday evening. Hazard could be backed at 12/1, out from an initial 7/2.

Another Belgian, Romelu Lukaku, who has impressed on loan at West Brom from Chelsea, is offered at 28/1 with England internationals Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck the outsiders.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Sunday April 28.


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