Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez will be going head-to-head tomorrow in the Manchester derby and they will face each other again in the PFA Player of the Year awards. United's Rooney and City's Tevez were yesterday named on the shortlist of nominations for the award, along with Cesc Frabregas, the Arsenal captain, and Chelsea's Didier Drogba. Rooney is the overwhelming favourite to land award after his outstanding season with United. The England striker has scored 34 goals for his club this term and has catapulted himself among the true world-class talents.
City's emergence as a Premier League force is confirmed by the nomination of Tevez, who has been such a pivotal figure since his controversial summer move from United. If Rooney goes on to win, it would be the fourth time on the trot a member of the Old Trafford camp had received the accolade, following Ryan Giggs last year, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who was player of the year in the two seasons before that.
Like Rooney, Fabregas has been selected for both the main award, and the young player prize. Although he will miss the rest of the season through injury, Fabregas held together a Gunners' title challenge that twice seemed to have collapsed before Tottenham almost certainly snuffed it out on Wednesday. As champions-elect, Chelsea were bound to have a representative, and while he might not have hit the heights as consistently as in other years, Drogba's goals made sure the Stamford Bridge side came through their rocky patch and are now in line to become only the seventh team to land the domestic double.
City also have a representative for the young player prize, although in Joe Hart's case that has only happened following a successful loan move to Birmingham. Aston Villa's James Milner is the fourth name on that list, testament to his outstanding form for Martin O'Neill's men, which seems certain to earn him a place in Fabio Capello's England World Cup squad. * PA