With football's award season fast approaching and the nominees for the PFA Players' Player of the Year awards set to be announced, selecting this year's winners is as difficult as ever.
The destiny of the Premier League title, European qualification and the dreaded relegation spots have yet to be decided after one of the most open seasons in years.
In fact, with three teams battling for the championship, Arsenal and Everton duelling for the final Champions League place and as many as seven teams facing a late season relegation battle, though it might be tough selecting a shortlist let alone a winner of these two prestigious prizes, it means quality with prevail over sentimentality.
The PFA will announce the six nominees for each award ahead of the ceremony on 27 April, on Good Friday, but ahead of the unveiling IBTimes UK selects its own potential list.
PFA Players Player of the Year
Steven Gerrard: The driving force behind Liverpool's pursuit of a first league title for 24 years. The Reds skipper has been near ever-present under Brendan Rodgers this season and has returned to his goal scoring best, particularly from the spot. Victorious in 2006, it would be fitting if a first championship winners' medal was accompanied by the player of the year prize.
Eden Hazard: In a Chelsea team which has lacked flair and imagination under Jose Mourinho, Hazard has been the shining light of the club's title challenge. Only 14 league goals have come this season but plenty of comparisons with the world's best have followed. His breathtaking hat-trick against Newcastle United has been the pick of his stellar performances.
Per Mertesacker: Though Arsenal's championship challenge has since wilted, the club burst into life at the start of the season amid the influence of Aaron Ramsey in attack, while the German patrolled a Gunners defence which evoked memories of old. Now the regular first team captain, Mertesacker looks at home in the Premier League after a shaky start and is crucial to the club's top four hopes.
Daniel Sturridge: Took the plunge by swapping Stamford Bridge for Anfield in January 2013 and the move has paid dividends with a record personal goal haul. Sturridge has netted 20 times in the Premier League alongside Luis Suarez – the first Liverpool partnership with half a century to both reach the milestone – and formed part of among the most potent attacks in Europe.
Luis Suarez: The zero to hero narrative told in just one season. Suarez has gone from divisive cheater, to Kop legend inside eight months. A lengthy ban for biting and repeated demands to leave has been followed by a deluge of goals for Liverpool, and nearly every one a goal of the month contender. The most outstanding player in English football for the past two years.
Yaya Toure: It says much about Toure's importance and contribution to Manchester City that now out injured the club's title hopes are fading. The Ivory Coast international is perhaps the most uncompromising player in English football and has contributed to every step of his side's success this season. An outstanding goal in the League Cup final represents his stand-out moment.
Honourable mentions: Curtis Davies, Adam Lallana, Julian Speroni.
PFA Young Player of the Year:
Ross Barkley: From his opening day strike against Norwich, Barkley has gone from Everton academy graduate to a staple of Roy Hodgson's England squad. An ability with both feet, his presence and strength in midfield and pace and drive with the ball make him among the most talented English youngsters in a generation.
Eden Hazard: Hoping to become the fourth player to do the Player of the Year/Young Player double after Andy Gray, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale after a sensational second season with Chelsea in which he has been compared to both Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Jose Mourinho will hope to keep him from the clutches of Paris Saint Germain in the summer.
Jordan Henderson: Has featured in every Premier League game for Liverpool this season, a campaign in which he has found an identity in the club's midfield. No longer a ponderous individual, Henderson possesses an intensity without the ball and a directness with it which both evokes memories of Gerrard and can be the focal point of England's midfield for the next decade.
Adnan Januzaj: Though he has played for a Manchester United side who have limped through their first season under David Moyes, it's hard to ignore the impact of the Belgian-born teenager. Breathed new life in United's season as the match winner on his full debut against Sunderland and such has been his success since he is already viewed a crucial component of the club's future.
Raheem Sterling: After a quiet start to the season, Sterling burst into life at Tottenham in December and hasn't looked back. A regular in a Liverpool attack which is closing in on a century of league goals and quality performances in big wins over Arsenal and Manchester City makes him a prized asset of Rodgers' squad. His electric pace makes him a contender for the World Cup.
Luke Shaw: No player has impressed more than the fleet footed Southampton full-back amid the deluge of English talent on the south coast. Already attracting flirtatious advances from Chelsea and Manchester United and will run Ashley Cole close for a World Cup place having combined with positional assurance with attacking intent.
Honourable mentions: Jordon Mutch, James McCarthy, Jay Rodriguez.