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Wednesday Kickoff: PFA nominees, Benatia, Ibrahimovic and more


Leicester City is on the verge of completing one of the greatest triumphs in English Premier League history, and one of their players could be rewarded with a significant piece of hardware.

Three Leicester players have been nominated for this year’s PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, including Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante. West Ham’s Dimitri Payet, Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Mesut Ozil of Arsenal round out the field of six contenders. (REPORT)

PFA also revealed their shortlist for Young Player of the Year, which includes Tottenham duo Kane and Dele Alli, as well as Everton pair Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley. Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland complete the nominees. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich defender Mehdi Benatia will not be available for the team’s UEFA Champions League match against Benfica on Wednesday, after only recently returning from injury. Several reports claimed Benatia forgot his passport, and that was why he wasn’t selected, but the 28-year-old has denied that accusation. (REPORT)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic wasn’t impressed with Paris Saint-Germain head coach Laurent Blanc’s first-half tactics in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League. Blanc tested a three-man backline over the opening 45 minutes before shifting to their normal back four in the second half. (REPORT)

Leicester City head coach Claudio Ranieri admits that the team’s final five matches will be “terrible” as the build up to an English Premier League carries on. The Foxes can sure the league with three wins down the stretch. (REPORT)

Aston Villa has reportedly cancelled their player of the year award amid the club’s pending relegation from the Premier League. A loss for the Villans on Saturday against Norwich City would secure the side’s fall to the Championship after winning just three matches this season. (REPORT)


Real Salt Lake remained unbeaten over the weekend, and holds the top spot for the second consecutive week in the latest installment of the SBI MLS Power Rankings. (REPORT)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat trick rescued Real Madrid in a thrilling victory over Wolfsburg, while Manchester City progressed past PSG in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. (REPORT)

Mexico is reportedly preparing a bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup for the third time in the country’s history. (REPORT)

Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath expects the returns of Cyle Larin and Brek Shea to provide the surging Lions with more consistency, despite a hot start to the 2016 MLS season. (REPORT)

The New York Red Bulls will play two matches over four day this week, and head coach Jesse Marsch says his team is beginning to regain their health after a rough opening five games. (REPORT)

Who should win this year’s PFA Player of the Year? Which player should capture Young Player of the Year? Will Benatia’s absence prevent Bayern from progressing?

Share your thoughts below.

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