Who is your favorite player in the English Premier League? That is the question being put to professional footballers as you read this. William Hill's Lee Phelps is looking at the betting to pick the best odds for his free bet.
It’s about that time when professional footballers pick their favorite player of the 2014/15 season and the good news is you can bet on it! Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez, Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Harry Kane are the top six in the betting, so who will win it?
The former Barcelona man has laid more on a plate for his Chelsea team-mates than Jamie Oliver this season. He has created 15 goals in his 23 starts in the Premier League appearances and is largely credited with building the early season form that has built them into the champions-elect.
It’s not all good news though, John Terry is the only Chelsea player who has won the award since 1973/4. Wingers or forwards have won the accolade in 18 of the last 21 years too and no-one has won in it in their first season since Ruud van Nistelrooy in 201/02.
Alexis Sanchez had scored 12 times and provided seven assists in his first 19 league starts by the New Year, those stats now read 13 goals and seven assists from 24 games, so a ‘lean’ spell may have affected his chances.
Although, like Fabregas, the debut season stat is against him, wide men-cum-strikers do very well, with five of the last eight trophies going to Ronaldo, Giggs and Bale.
Seventeen goals and six assists from his 20 starts isn’t too shabby, maybe if he hadn’t picked up an injury, the title race would still be on. He’s also rattled in six Champions League goals, including that brilliant hat-trick against Bayern Munich.
If he wins he would be the first Man City to be picked. Even when they won the title for the first time, Joe Hart, David Silva and Aguero missed out.
Say the name Eden Hazard and people purr. He has 10 goals and six assists so far for Chelsea, but you could argue he is less influential than Fabregas or Costa, with his goals.
He won the 2013/14 PFA Young Player of the Year award means his fellow pros respect him and would be an easy soccer pick in a season that is wide open, but he would have to do what only Cristiano Ronaldo has done before: win the big prize a season after winning the youth category.
The 21-year-old now has 14 Premier League goals against his name this season. Remember he barely played in the league in the early part of the season. He didn't score his first goal until November 2nd
Before that he had been scoring in the Europa League and the Capital One Cup, so has been on our minds for most of the season.
Ralph Ellis made another excellent point this week: “He is also acting as a beacon for other young English players to prove that if you are good enough, you can force your way through, however much money your club has thrown on foreign imports.
Until Cristiano Ronaldo won both awards in 2007, it used to be considered pretty much impossible. Only Andy Gray 30 years earlier had ever done it before. But then Gareth Bale achieved the double honour in 2013 and now the stage is set for another Spurs prodigy to make some history.”
Free Soccer Pick:
I’m splitting my stakes between Eden Hazard 3.0 (2/1) and Harry Kane 13.0 (12/1)