Premier League PFA Player of the Year predictions: City and Liverpool stars set to dominate
The 2022-23 Premier League season gets under way this weekend and with a plethora of world-class talent spread across the division, the battle to be crowned PFA Player of the Year is sure to be intriguing.
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah won the prestigious accolade for a second time last season and after signing a new contract to remain with the Reds this summer, he is sure to fancy his chances of becoming the first player to land the award on three occasions.
With Liverpool and Manchester City expected to be the two dominant forces in the Premier League once again this term, it would be no surprise to see players from those two clubs fighting it out for the individual honours as well.
However, it would be wrong to completely rule out contenders from other clubs.
Diaz to steal Salah's thunder
Salah was a deserved winner of the Player of the Year award last season, as the Egyptian forward was the joint-leading scorer in the Premier League with 23 goals, while he also contributed a division-high 13 assists.
Having turned 30 over the summer, there is still plenty left in Salah's tank, although with fellow forward Sadio Mane having left Liverpool over the summer, there could be something of a changing of the guard at Anfield.
Darwin Nunez has arrived from Benfica to fill some of the void left by Mane's departure, but perhaps the player that could benefit most is Luis Diaz, who more than showcased a glimpse of his talents following his January move from Porto.
The Colombia international was directly involved in seven Premier League goals towards the end of last season and he looks destined to play an even more prominent role this term.
Diaz will have greater responsibility on his shoulders following Mane's exit, but expect him to rise to that challenge, and if he can spearhead another Liverpool title pursuit, then he is sure to be in Player of the Year contention.
Foden ready to be front and centre
Phil Foden burst onto the scene as a teenager five years ago and the Manchester City star is now a firm fixture in Pep Guardiola's team.
The England international was directly involved in 14 top-flight goals last season, scoring nine himself, as he picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award for the second campaign in a row.
At 22, Foden is now too old to win that title for a third-straight year, but maybe he is ready to step up to challenge for the senior prize.
Foden appears to be established in Guardiola's preferred starting line-up when everyone is fit and if he can forge an effective partnership with much-talked about summer signing Erling Haaland, then he could emerge as the Premier League's best player.
Guimaraes to spearhead Newcastle challenge
Much is expected of Newcastle this season following a strong end to the 2021-22 campaign and the new financial muscle they boast in the transfer market.
Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes was one of the first new players through the door following the club's takeover and he has certainly impressed after joining from Lyon in January.
Initially eased into action by Magpies boss Eddie Howe, Guimaraes, a defensive midfielder during his time in France, went on to score five goals in 11 Premier League starts.
The 24-year-old certainly appears at home in English football and if Newcastle are to fulfil their potential this term, then he is likely to be a driving force behind that success, which could make him a Player of the Year contender.