Gareth Bale is 7/1 to retain the PFA Player of the Year award while David Silva leads the way

Tottenham's Gareth Bale is made a 7/1 shot to win the award for a second consecutive year while David Silva and Robin van Persie are the front runners
Gareth Bale won the PFA Player of the Year award for the 2010-11 season and, if anything, the Welshman has been even more impressive in this campaign.

Bale is the third favourite for the prize and a 7/1 (8.00) shot with William Hill to be the first man since Cristiano Ronaldo to retain the trophy. There are two obstacles standing in Bale’s way. And they go by the names of David Silva and Robin van Persie.

Such has been the brilliance of the Manchester City playmaker and the Gunners’ goal machine that these awards look likely to be a two-horse race. Silva has been the driving force behind City’s impressive season – loading the bullets for the likes of Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero.

With Roberto Mancini’s men the favourites for the title, it would be little surprise if the little Spanish magician has attracted the attention of his fellow pros. Silva is the 2/1 (3.00) favourite for the PFA award with William Hill.

Of course, while Silva’s silky skills may have won over his peers, the goals of Robin van Persie are also hard to ignore. The flying Dutchman fired an astonishing 35 Premier League goals in 2011 and has begun 2012 in the same scintillating form.

These awards can be heavily influenced by the headlines that are generated around the time the votes are cast. Van Persie’s hat-trick against Blackburn last weekend might just have been timely. You can back Van Persie at 5/2 (3.50) with William Hill.

The herd mentality that accompanies these kind of awards doesn’t exactly lend itself to outside bets walking away with the honours. However, there has to be a chance that Newcastle’s surprisingly brilliant season is rewarded in some way.

Demba Ba has scored 16 goals for Alan Pardew’s side this season and if he can add a few more in the coming weeks the Ba bandwagon may get up and running. The Senegal striker is available at 16/1 (17.0) to be the PFA Player of the Year.

Back Robin van Persie to be the PFA Player of the Year award at 5/2 (3.50) with William Hill

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on Twitter