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Football: Player of the Year Award

The English Premier League might not have Lionel Messi, arguably the greatest player in the game’s history, but there are certainly enough world class players in the domestic league to make it the globe’s most popular.

Later this month (28 April) the winner of the Professional Footballer’s Association Player of the Year award will be announced, and the shortlist of six reads like a who’s who of football that any club would (and indeed they are) be interested in having in their first eleven.

Of course if the public were to decide, the eventual winner would be determined by a predictably biased popularity contest and, as is often the case, we can guarantee that much of the betting by those putting their money where their mobile devices are will have far more to do with supporters’ allegiances than anything else. Ironically, the very same pundits who genuinely understand the sport they follow so closely will be betting with no more logic than the little old lady who gambles once a year on the Grand National based on the jockey’s colourful shirt (and who can barely tell one end of a horse from another). And fans’ betting would still be emotionally based even after reading these words!

But mobile sports betting is serious business, and the online bookmakers have to step back when pricing up the market and look exclusively at the players’ specific abilities and their real value in terms of how they contribute to overall team performance; they then must judge how these are perceived by those with a vote. 

Unsurprisingly, players are not allowed to vote for anyone at their own club.

The shortlist, including the latest odds available, as always, through gambling4mobiles is as follows:

Goal-scoring machine Gareth Bale (Tottenham) is the hot favourite to increase his personal price tag even further, at the time of writing the best odds for him picking up the 2013 award being 4/9. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) and Robin van Persie (Manchester United) are slightly shorter and longer respectively than 5/1. The odds then jump with the other three contenders, with Chelsea’s Juan Mata and Eden Hazard and Manchester United’s Michael Carrick available at anything from 80/1 to 125/1...

It’s well worth mobile sports betting fans noting that Bale won in 2011 when he was only 21, while Van Persie took the honour last year.

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