Sterling, Van Dijk among England’s player of year contenders

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Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva have made the six-man shortlist for the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Players' Player of the Year award, the organisation said on Saturday.

Premier League leaders Liverpool were represented by centre back Virgil Van Dijk and forward Sadio Mane, while Chelsea winger Eden Hazard completed the list of nominees for the 2018-19 campaign.

Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, West Ham's Declan Rice and Bournemouth's David Brooks will battle the City duo.

The Reds' 2-0 victory at relegation-threatened Cardiff on Sunday restored their two-point lead over champions Manchester City (86 points), who will play their game in hand against cross-town rivals Manchester United tomorrow.

Senegal worldwide Mane - included ahead of last year's victor Mohamed Salah - has also enjoyed a stellar season for Jurgen Klopp's side, hitting 18 league goals as the Anfield club attempt to end a 29-year wait to be champions.

There is guaranteed to be a new name on the Young Player of the Year award. His club could be the first team to return back-to-back winners of English football's most prestigious individual title since Manchester United had four in a row between 2007 and 2010.

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Sterling's team-mate Leroy Sane won a year ago, the first City player ever to claim the prize.

If either he or Silva were to win both awards, they'd be the first player to do so since Gareth Bale in 2013, and only the third of all-time, joining Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andy Gray.

Creative forward Hazard, the only candidate to have previously won the award (2015), has been directly involved in more top-flight goals than any other player this term, scoring 16 and setting up 12 for Maurizio Sarri's Blues.

"They need to do themselves a favor", Van Dijk said, from The Daily Mail. I did what I thought [was right] and I thought he deserves it. We had to stay patient, but it was a very mature performance and it was good to get the three points.

"But I am just being honest".

"For the young players, for the fans, I understand that Harry Kane is incredibly important".

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