Phil Foden could be the Euro 2024 player of the tournament, according to England and Manchester City team-mate John Stones.

Foden scored 19 league goals and added eight assists this season as he lifted a sixth Premier League title with City at the age of just 24.

His efforts saw him named Premier League and Manchester City player of the year, and he now turns his attention to international football as England head to Germany looking to claim a first major tournament victory since winning the World Cup in 1966.

Stones has full confidence in his national and club team-mate's ability to play a crucial role for the Three Lions in Germany.

When asked if Foden could end up winning player of the tournament honours at the Euros, Stones told reporters: "Yes. I'm biased, [but] I think he's absolutely incredible.

"First how he plays the game, so silky playing like he's in the park.

"I feel like he has brought so much to his game, goals, maturity, knowing of situations, his pressing.

"This season has been incredible for him and I hope and I'm sure he will bring that to the tournament."

Stones believes Foden is "100 per cent" among world-class players such as Kylian Mbappe and Jude Bellingham and feels England's attacking prowess alongside Foden could somewhat take the pressure off him.

"I think it probably suits Phil that maybe that [spotlight] is not all on him," Stones added. "We all know the quality that he's got, what he can bring and does for the team.

"I think in these occasions, it's where it brings it out of you and maybe it's time to show the world what he can really do."

Kieran Trippier echoed his fellow Three Lions defender's sentiments on Foden, saying: "To be honest with you, I can't pick out individuals, because everybody has been quality, but obviously Phil Foden is Phil Foden. He's always one of my favourite players.

"With Phil, I could walk back into the camp and he's got a ball at his feet. He's obsessed with football.

"Everybody sees him on the pitch, but what people don't see in training is his vision, his technique, and his ability is frightening."

Euro 2024 is almost upon us, with Europe's finest preparing to battle it out to be crowned continental champions in Germany.

It all gets under way on Friday as Julian Nagelsmann's hosts face Scotland at the Allianz Arena. 

It seems remarkable to think Die Nationalelf – the most successful national team in Europe – have gone eight years without a knockout win at a major tournament, and they will be desperately hoping home advantage inspires a better run this time around.

England, meanwhile, will be looking to bring football home and end 58 years of hurt in the country their captain Harry Kane thrived in last season.

The Three Lions' 2022 World Cup hopes were ended by France, who are again among the favourites. There is plenty more intrigue elsewhere, from defending champions Italy being drawn in a 'group of death' with Spain and Croatia to Cristiano Ronaldo leading Portugal into a sixth edition of the Euros.

And who could forget Georgia's first tournament as an independent nation, or Scotland's attempts to upset the odds in Group A?

As Euros fever grips the continent, we run through the main storylines and contenders, pick out some underdogs and breakout stars to watch and take a look at the Opta supercomputer's predictions.

THE HOSTS

This will be the first edition of the Euros to take place solely in a unified Germany, though the Allianz Arena hosted games at Euro 2020 and West Germany staged the 1988 tournament – won by the Netherlands as Marco van Basten scored one of the most iconic goals in history against the USSR in the final.

This will be Germany's fourth major tournament as sole hosts overall, and they have always gone far on home soil, winning the 1974 World Cup and going out in the semi-finals at Euro 1988 and the 2006 World Cup.

Hopes were not high for them in late 2023 as a dismal run of friendly results saw Hansi Flick become the first Germany coach to be sacked. However, Nagelsmann has restored optimism and has a supremely talented group of players to work with.

Florian Wirtz's emergence as one of Europe's best attacking midfielders offers cause for excitement – the 21-year-old scored 11 goals and added 11 assists during Bayer Leverkusen's unbeaten Bundesliga title-winning campaign to claim Player of the Season honours.

Wirtz, Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan will likely support Kai Havertz in a fluid attacking quartet, while Toni Kroos' presence in midfield will be a major boost to a team that averaged 59.3 per cent possession at Euro 2020 – second only to Spain (66.8 per cent).

Kroos – who won his sixth Champions League with Real Madrid this month – played more line-breaking passes (214) and passes leading to final-third entries (69) than any other player in Europe's premier club competition in 2023-24.

The major question mark could pertain to Kroos' partner, with Germany having lacked a true midfield enforcer for some time.

They have conceded at least one goal in their last 12 major tournament games, last keeping a clean sheet against Slovakia in the last 16 at Euro 2016. Will that soft underbelly cost them again?

THE FAVOURITES

England

England's Euro 2024 preparations have been far from perfect, with defensive mainstay Harry Maguire missing out through injury and their final friendly ending in defeat against Iceland. However, Gareth Southgate's side enter the tournament as the Opta supercomputer's favourites.

It is not difficult to see why. In Kane, England have a striker whose tally of 44 goals in 2023-24 was only matched by Kylian Mbappe among players from Europe's top five leagues.

In Jude Bellingham, they have the outstanding player from Madrid's double-winning side, recording 36 goal involvements (23 goals, 13 assists) in his debut season in Spain. 

And in Phil Foden, Southgate can call upon the Premier League's Player of the Season, who produced talismanic performances against Manchester United, Aston Villa and West Ham to cap Manchester City's fourth straight title success. 

With Southgate thought likely to depart whatever the outcome of England's campaign, this tournament must be the culmination of their development into genuine contenders. Penalty shoot-outs excluded, England have only lost one of their last 18 Euros games (10 wins, seven draws) – against Iceland in 2016. 

With Marc Guehi now likely to partner John Stones following injury-disrupted campaigns for both players, the key may be Southgate's ability to protect his backline. 

Across the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and Euro 2020, England conceded just 0.59 goals per game and allowed opponents a paltry 0.72 expected goals (xG) per match – a figure only bettered by France (0.67) among the leading European teams to make each tournament. Reproducing that kind of solidity will be crucial. 

France

Didier Deschamps is eyeing history in Germany, where he could become the first person to win the World Cup and the Euros as both a player and a manager. 

Having reached the final at three of their last four major tournaments, Les Bleus are right up there among the favourites again.

The likes of Hugo Lloris, Raphael Varane, Paul Pogba and Karim Benzema may be gone, but France still boast an incredible depth of talent, with Mbappe leading from the front as captain.

Mbappe endured a terrible tournament at Euro 2020, failing to score from chances amounting to 1.7 xG in four games, before missing the vital penalty as France were beaten by Switzerland in a last-16 shoot-out. 

Coming into this tournament on the back of a 44-goal season with Paris Saint-Germain and with his long-term future decided, few expect a repeat from Madrid's newest Galactico. 

Among the more interesting selections from Deschamps is a recall for N'Golo Kante, who was missed at the 2022 World Cup but failed to prevent Al-Ittihad from finishing a lowly fifth in the Saudi Pro League in 2023-24. With Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni also included, opposing midfielders are in for a tough time. 

A difficult group-stage draw means France will be tested from the very off, though. If they can top a pool containing the Netherlands, Austria and Poland, they could be on course to meet England in a titanic semi-final. 

Spain

Spain are the only nation to win back-to-back editions of the Euros, bookending their golden era by triumphing in 2008 and 2012. Since then, La Roja have won just two knockout ties at five major tournaments, with a 2022 World Cup exit to Morocco their nadir.  

Luis de la Fuente is the man tasked with bringing back the good times, and victory in the 2022-23 edition of the Nations League represented a decent start.

However, La Roja have been drawn into what is surely the toughest group at the Euros, with Croatia and Italy their first two opponents before they face Albania.

Spain's attractive, possession-based brand of football won them plenty of plaudits at Euro 2020 and the Qatar World Cup, but it did not win them enough games, with Italy, Japan and Morocco all keeping them at arm's length at those tournaments.

As well as averaging the most passes per sequence during Euro 2024 qualifying (six), Spain averaged the most sequences of 10+ passes per game (28.5). Adding an end product is now the aim of the game.

Alvaro Morata must step up after missing a tournament-high six big chances at Euro 2020. He did score 15 goals in LaLiga last term, though, and exciting wide duo Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams should provide him with plenty of service.

Spain's key men in midfield will be Pedri and Rodri.

Man City star Rodri saw his 18-month unbeaten run ended by Manchester United in last month's FA Cup final, but he developed into more than a midfield enforcer in 2023-24, scoring nine goals and adding 14 assists. 

Pedri, meanwhile, netted twice in a dominant 5-1 win over Northern Ireland last week, and is back to form after an stop-start season with Barcelona. His Blaugrana team-mate Gavi will be absent through injury, however.

If La Roja are to add punch to their possession play, this pair may need to be the driving force. 

Portugal

Portugal are the fifth team to be given more than a nine per cent chance of glory by the Opta supercomputer, as Cristiano Ronaldo heads into his 11th – and potentially final – tournament. 

Injury limited Ronaldo to the role of cheerleader when Portugal won Euro 2016, but he has already written his name into the competition's record books and can underline his legacy further in Germany.

Ronaldo holds the records for most games (25), most goals (14), joint-most assists on record (six – since 1972) and most editions with at least one goal (five) at the Euros. 

His place was called into question at the Qatar World Cup, but Roberto Martinez has built around him since taking over last year, with the Selecao plundering 36 goals in 10 qualifiers and conceding just two.

With the likes of Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Rafael Leao, Joao Felix, Diogo Jota and Pedro Neto all making their squad, Portugal have one of the most exciting attacking line-ups at the tournament. 

A kind group-stage draw – pitting them against Czechia, Turkiye and tournament debutants Georgia also plays into their hands – and the Selecao also know topping Group F would put them on the opposite side of the draw to England and France, should they also win their groups.

Lionel Messi's triumph at the last World Cup will only have heightened Ronaldo's desire for more international silverware. With a strong supporting cast behind him, he should not be written off.

THE UNDERDOGS

Scotland

Scotland fell flat on their first tournament appearance of the century at Euro 2020, but there are reasons to suggest the Tartan Army might have more to cheer this time around. 

Steve Clarke's side were promoted to the top tier of the Nations League in 2022-23, while a famous 2-0 win over Spain at Hampden Park – courtesy of a Scott McTominay double – set the tone for their successful qualification campaign.

Having lost Aaron Hickey, Nathan Patterson and Lewis Ferguson to injury, Clarke's men face a difficult first test against Germany. However, one win could be enough to qualify under the 24-team format, and they might just fancy their chances of upsetting Hungary or Switzerland. 

Austria

Looking to bloody the noses of France and the Netherlands in Group D are Austria, tipped by many to be something of a surprise package under Ralf Rangnick.

Austria finished just one point behind Belgium in qualifying, Rangnick needing little time to implement his high-pressing style. They allowed opponents just 8.3 passes per defensive action (PPDA) in qualifying – the fewest of any team.

Austria also attacked with the highest direct speed (2.03 metres per second), and if their Group D opponents do not match their intensity, they could spring a surprise.

Georgia

One of the stories of the tournament can be found in Group F, with Georgia featuring at a major tournament for the first time as an independent nation – they are the only Euros debutants in Germany.

They failed to qualify directly - their Nations League performance teeing up a penalty shoot-out victory over Greece in the play-offs. They were the only team to reach the tournament while posting a negative goal difference (-6) in their qualifying group.

When it comes to one-off games, though, they do have match-winners. Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia completed the joint-most dribbles of any player in qualifying (44), alongside Jeremy Doku, also scoring four goals and providing one assist.

Georgia also have international pedigree in the dugout, with Willy Sagnol their head coach. The former France right-back only lost one of his 12 games at major tournaments as a player (six wins, five draws).

THE BREAKOUT STARS

All eyes may be on Kane, Mbappe and Ronaldo, but major tournaments are often defined by breakout stars, those players who earn big-money moves or become household names within a matter of days.

Slovenia's Benjamin Sesko could be a candidate, having attracted interest from several of Europe's biggest clubs, though he has now signed a new deal with RB Leipzig. Bellingham (19) was the only player aged 21 or younger to better his 14 goals in Europe's big five leagues last term. 

The Netherlands, who are shorn of Frenkie de Jong, may need to spread the goals around in the absence of a top-class number nine, and Feyenoord's Lutsharel Geertruida – who has played at centre-back, right-back or in midfield – had 13 goal involvements in the Eredivisie last term (eight goals, five assists).

Defending champions Italy are being overlooked by many as Luciano Spalletti oversees a period of transition. Inter midfielder Davide Frattesi could emerge as a star for the Azzurri, having scored five goals in 15 caps – more than any team-mate since his debut in 2022.

This tournament has been touted as something of a last dance for Belgium's 'Golden Generation', and PSV winger Johan Bakayoko is the Red Devils' next big hope. Only seven players bettered his 164 opposition-half take-ons in Europe's top six leagues last term, with fellow Belgium wide-man Doku (171) among them.

The supercomputer's prediction

According to the Opta supercomputer, football may finally arrive home on July 14. 

England emerged triumphant in 19.9 per cent of Opta's 10,000 tournament simulations, making them favourites ahead of France (19.1 per cent).

There is then a significant gap to the third favourites, with Germany victorious on home soil in 12.4 per cent of projections, ahead of Spain (9.6 per cent) and Portugal (9.2 per cent). 

The Netherlands (5.1 per cent) and Italy (5.0 per cent) are next, with tough group-stage draws working against them. Belgium (4.7 per cent), Denmark (2.2 per cent) and Croatia (2 per cent) round out the top 10.

England have never boasted stronger competition for places than at the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament, according to Three Lions winger Anthony Gordon.

The Newcastle United forward will feature at his first major tournament with Gareth Southgate's senior side, who start their campaign against Serbia on Sunday.

Bukayo Saka, Cole Palmer, Phil Foden, Jarrod Bowen and Eberechi Eze are all other wide options as Southgate prepares to choose between a wealth of attacking riches on the wings.

Gordon believes England have rarely enjoyed such a depth of talent, heading into the tournament in Germany where they are seen as favourites alongside France.

"A few people have said it where the squad has never been so competitive in terms of everyone is in form and everyone has come here in a really good place," he said.

"There is definitely competition for places. Everyone is going to be at their best to try and play."

Manchester City defender John Stones offered cause for concern after an injury during Friday's surprise 1-0 defeat against Iceland, though was involved in training ahead of England's opener in Gelsenkirchen.

Luke Shaw also featured in the pre-tournament session but the Manchester United full-back will be managed closely as his recovery from a hamstring issue continues.

"I was a bit worried when [Stones] went down [against Iceland] because he's such a big player for us but he's fine," Gordon added. "He's got an elite mentality, so I've had faith in him.

"[Shaw] is back in training now and doing really well. I did a bit of my rehab with him and he was way far ahead of schedule. He was doing great, which is good."

Southgate hit the headlines on Monday after suggesting the European Championship marked his "last chance" as England manager.

Yet Gordon hopes the England boss continues his tenure past when his current contract is due to end in December.

"From a selfish point I would want him to stay," he continued. "I love working with him and his staff.

"From my youth journey with England, the way they have transitioned the whole set-up from youth to senior level has been absolutely amazing and I don't think they get the credit he deserves."

England are "incredibly strong" and "definitely good enough to go all the way" at Euro 2024, insists former Three Lions goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Gareth Southgate's side, who were runners-up to Italy at the delayed Euro 2020, are among the favourites to go one better and lift the Henri Delaunay trophy in Germany this year, and there is envious quality within their ranks.

Jude Bellingham played a starring role during his debut season with Real Madrid, with Harry Kane following suit at Bayern Munich, while Phil Foden, Kyle Walker and John Stones are fresh from winning a record-breaking fourth successive Premier League title with Manchester City.

Hart, who recently announced his retirement from professional football, represented England at two European Championships in 2012 and 2016, playing alongside the likes of Kane, Walker and Stones at the latter.

The ex-Man City and Celtic stopper briefly featured for the Three Lions during the early stages of Southgate's tenure, which began in September 2016, and he talked up the nation's chances to BBC Sport.

"I know a lot of our players well from my time with the squad," said Hart, whose tally of 75 caps is only bettered by Peter Shilton (125) among England goalkeepers. "They are top-class players who will have a huge say in how we do this time.

"I feel like [Southgate's] confidence has increased a lot since my time with the squad. He's had success at the past two tournaments... and it also seems like everyone loves playing under him, which is so important.

"For everything that is talked about by people outside the squad, it is what happens in the camp that really matters, and Gareth has built an environment where they will feel safe and will be very focused.

"It looks like the manager and players understand each other and what it takes to go the distance, so they will be able to put themselves in the best position to execute all the planning and hard work that they have already put in.

"England are definitely good enough to go all the way in Germany. If you look at all the squads, then along with France, we are incredibly strong.

"But I know what goes into winning a tournament, and it is not quite as simple as just having the best players, so we will have to see how it plays out."

Gareth Southgate has pledged England will learn from Friday's shock 1-0 defeat to Iceland ahead of their Euro 2024 campaign starting next week.

England's Wembley Stadium send-off fell flat as they produced a disjointed performance against a stubborn Iceland side, with Jon Thorsteinsson's low strike the difference. 

Despite Southgate picking a strong starting lineup featuring Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Cole Palmer, the Three Lions managed just one shot on target and only recorded 0.89 expected goals (xG) from 13 total attempts.

It is the first time they have lost their final game prior to an international tournament since Euro 1968, having won 15 and drawn five of their previous 20 such matches. 

While Southgate was in no mood to excuse England's below-par performance, he is sure their issues will be solved before they face Serbia in Gelsenkirchen in nine days' time.

"It was obviously a disjointed and disappointing performance, and we didn't show enough character but I think it's good for us before an international tournament," Southgate told Channel 4.

"I think we've got to be better without the ball. I think there were a lot of reasons for that and across the two games we probably haven't had our full side out. 

"We've been able to look at people, we've been able to learn about the balance of the team.

"I've been involved in a lot of last matches leading into a tournament. 

"Inevitably players have one eye on what's coming in terms of early challenges. There are no excuses on the result but there are a lot of things we can put right quickly."

England have now conceded first in each of their last three games at Wembley – against Brazil and Belgium in March and versus Iceland on Friday.

It is the first time they have conceded first in three successive matches at the national stadium since doing so between October 1953 and November 1954 – a run which included an infamous 6-3 defeat to Hungary in November 1953.

Phil Foden wants to continue enjoying working with Pep Guardiola, and will not "think too much" about the Spaniard potentially leaving Manchester City.

Foden was named Premier League Player of the Year after helping City land a record-breaking fourth successive top-flight title, scoring two goals in their crucial victory over West Ham on the final day.

Guardiola, whose contract is set to expire at the end of next season, hinted he may depart the Etihad Stadium, suggesting he was closer to leaving the club than staying.

Foden has gone from strength to strength since coming through the City ranks and being handed his debut by the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss during the 2017-18 season.

And the England international is focused on continuing to embrace making further strides with the 53-year-old at the helm.

"I've not known any other thing apart from him," Foden told BBC Sport. "So, it'll be strange when he does go. I don't want to think too much about it. I want to enjoy the things we're doing now with him.

"I feel like there's other managers out there who complicate it a little bit. The best advice he gave me this season was ‘don't try and be Phil Foden in every action’, and I feel like that advice really went a long way.

"I believed in what the manager was saying. I believed in the process. When I wasn't playing, I knew there were better players in front of me. And I knew the more I grew up and the longer time that went, there'd be an opportunity for me."

Foden was speaking ahead of the FA Cup final, in which City will face rivals Manchester United at Wembley for the second year running.

The Citizens, who prevailed 2-1 12 months ago, are aiming to become the first English side to win the Premier League and FA Cup in successive seasons.

"Last year, United didn't make it easy for us," Foden continued. "When it’s a derby, on your day, anyone can win, so it's something we have to look forward to and be at our best if we're going to win."

Gareth Southgate believes Phil Foden's starting position is less important than the spaces he is allowed to attack, pledging to find a way of letting him operate centrally at Euro 2024.

Foden was included in England's 33-man preliminary squad on Tuesday, and he is expected to be among the first names on the teamsheet after enjoying a fine campaign.

Foden was named Premier League Player of the Season as he helped Manchester City win an unprecedented fourth straight title, scoring 19 goals and adding seven assists.

Only three players in the league bettered Foden's goal tally, while he also ranked seventh in the division for chances created (73) and fourth for possession won in the final third (35 times).

Foden scored two excellent goals as City clinched the title with a 3-1 final-day win over West Ham, drifting infield from the right to find space between the lines and in the penalty area.

While the presence of Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham and Arsenal's Bukayo Saka has led many to conclude Foden will be stationed on the left in Germany, Southgate is aware of the need to grant him positional freedom.

"Phil has played off the right, off the left, the key is where he ends up, not his starting position," Southgate said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"He plays on the left with City, sometimes he stays wide, but he's allowed to drift, and it has always been the same with us. He's allowed to drift. 

"Then there's where a player has to defend. Jude has played as a 10 all season, and sometimes he has defended on the left for Real Madrid. 

"It's about where these players arrive and where you allow them to drift, that's the key. I think if you spoke to all of our players, we never pin them to a touchline, that's not how we work so there is that freedom."

Foden produced a series of talismanic displays for City in the run-in, scoring match-winning hat-tricks against Brentford and Aston Villa and masterminding a vital comeback against Manchester United with two goals in March.

The 23-year-old stepped up while players like Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland were sidelined through injury, and Southgate has been impressed by his ability to shoulder that responsibility.

"It's obvious the brilliant season Phil has had, how he stepped up in big games not only when big players have been out but when he's been playing alongside them as well," Southgate added.

"You want him in central areas as you do one or two others, so we have to find the best way of making that happen."

Phil Foden "cemented his place as a Manchester City great" after his two goals helped the club to a record-breaking fourth successive Premier League title, according to former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.

Pep Guardiola's side made history as they maintained their grip on the Premier League trophy following a 3-1 victory over West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on the final day of the season.

Foden - recently named the division's Player of the Year - played another starring role for the Citizens with a brace, including a 25-yard thunderbolt after just 78 seconds, while Rodri's second-half strike completed the victory.

Ferdinand, who won three consecutive Premier League titles with United between 2007 and 2009, believes the attacking midfielder has joined a pantheon of club legends as he saluted City's resilience and determination to keep on winning. 

"It's hard to explain how difficult that is - to continually reboot and go again," the former defender told TNT Sports. "The daily pressure to get up and go every day is a relentless pursuit of elite performance.

"You have to respect it - the individuals there are fantastic. The top players have moments where you cement yourself as one of the club's greats - I'm not going to go too early, but Foden has done that today."

Still only 23 years old, Foden is the youngest player in history to win six Premier League titles with his home club.

Gary Neville - an eight-time champion with United who also won three on the bounce between 1999 and 2001 - also paid tribute to the England international.

"Phil Foden is a local hero. What a player!" he told Sky Sports. "Pep Guardiola has designed a style of football that is being copied not just around this country, but all around Europe.

"Most of all, he is a winning machine that instils that in everybody who works with him."

Erling Haaland has won the Premier League Golden Boot for a second straight season.

Manchester City striker Haaland finished with 27 goals from 31 appearances this season, finishing five goals ahead of Chelsea attacking midfielder Cole Palmer, who emerged as a surprise contender after leaving the Etihad Stadium for Stamford Bridge ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.

Haaland scored a single-season record 36 goals in his debut year in England and while he did not match those numbers this time around, he ultimately prevailed with a comprehensive five-goal advantage over Palmer.

Newcastle striker Alexander Isak was in third place with 21 goals. There was a three-way tie for fourth place on 19 goals between Dominic Solanke, Phil Foden and Ollie Watkins.

Mohamed Salah (18 goals) and Son Heung-min (17) were also prominent high finishers, with Bukayo Saka and Jarrod Bowen joined on 16 by Jean-Philippe Mateta on the final day of the season when he netted a hat-trick in Crystal Palace's 5-0 win over Aston Villa.

While Haaland claims award glory, it was Foden (two) and Rodri who scored the goals as Man City beat West Ham 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday to secure a historic fourth successive Premier League trophy.

But Haaland's goals had been crucial to getting City into a title-winning position.

The 23-year-old started the season with a bang, scoring eight goals in his first six top-flight appearances, including a hat-trick in the 5-1 win over Fulham in early September.

While he battled an injury and a brief mid-season dip in form, doubles against Manchester United and Chelsea kept the Norway forward in contention.

And Haaland ultimately pulled away from his Golden Boot rivals in the closing stages of the campaign.

The striker scored four times in the 5-1 home win over Wolves this month to all but end the contest even before his pivotal double against Tottenham on Tuesday put Man City on the brink of title glory.

Haaland matches the likes of Harry Kane, Salah and Robin van Persie as players to win the Golden Boot in consecutive seasons.

Thierry Henry has won the most Golden Boot crowns with four, while Kane, Salah and Premier League record goalscorer Alan Shearer all have three apiece, with Haaland now just one behind that group.

The Playmaker of the Season award for the most Premier League assists went to Aston Villa striker Watkins.

As well as scoring his 19 goals, Watkins racked up 13 assists in a fine individual season, helping Villa to Champions League qualification.

He is the first Aston Villa player to win the award since it began in the 2017-18 season.

Watkins finished two assists ahead of Palmer (11), who comes second in both awards, while Kevin De Bruyne was part of a large group in a tie for third with 10 assists.

Man City's De Bruyne is a three-time winner and came close to topping the creative standings again despite missing much of the season through injury.

The Golden Glove winner is Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya, who finished with a final tally of 16 clean sheets.

He is the Gunners’ first winner of the award since Petr Cech also kept 16 clean sheets for the Gunners in the 2015-16 season. Wojciech Szczęsny is another former Arsenal winner.

Everton keeper Jordan Pickford was second to Raya with 13 shutouts.

Those two shot-stoppers did battle on the final day, as Arsenal won 2-1 against Everton, but it was not enough to stop the celebrations for Haaland and City.

Manchester City were once again indebted to Phil Foden as they lifted the Premier League title on Sunday, and Micah Richards believes the midfielder is now Pep Guardiola's "main man".

Foden cannoned an early opener past West Ham's Alphonse Areola to set City on their way, before doubling his tally and the hosts' lead after 18 minutes at Etihad Stadium.

Indeed, Foden has scored six goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season, the most of any player, and the most ever by a Man City player in a single campaign.

It is also the most by a player for any team in the competition since the 2018-19 season, when Christian Eriksen scored six, but Foden's heroics stretch further than his long-range shooting.

The England midfielder helped City become the first team in English top-flight history to win the title in four consecutive seasons, having won the league in 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24.

Former City and England defender Richards believes Foden is now the key for his boyhood club, after his efforts in the 3-1 victory over West Ham.

Shortly before City lifted the Premier League trophy on home turf, Richards told Sky Sports: "It is ridiculous and unbelievable!

"It makes it sweeter that someone homegrown is a big part of it. Phil Foden has become the main man of this team, what Pep has created is unbelievable."

City went 35 matches unbeaten in all competitions (W29 D6), the longest run ever by a Premier League team, to secure the title.

That run ensured Guardiola's side pipped Arsenal, whose 2-1 victory over Everton on the final day mattered for little, to another top-flight crown.

"It is a brilliant young team and there is more to come at Arsenal," Richards added.

"Kai Havertz has done well and Gabriel Jesus has probably not played at a level which we expected when he left Man City.

"If you're looking on how they can improve they need to get a striker who can score all type of goals, even when Erling Haaland has not played at his best he has scored goals."

This triumph for City means Guardiola has clinched his sixth Premier League title – he is just the fourth manager to win as many as six English top-flight titles, along with Alex Ferguson (13), George Ramsay and Bob Paisley (both six).

Phil Foden has no expectations over getting bored of Manchester City's title-winning machine powering on, after Pep Guardiola's side secured a record-breaking fourth top-flight crown on Sunday.

England midfielder Foden was twice on target as City's 3-1 victory over West Ham at Etihad Stadium saw Guardiola's team pip Arsenal to league glory.

That triumph created a piece of history as City became the first team in English top-flight history to win the title in four consecutive seasons, having won the league in 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24.

The City academy product has no interest in relenting as Foden eyes further glory with his boyhood club.

"I never get bored of it, you want this feeling every time," Foden told Sky Sports, shortly after the title party started on the blue side of Manchester.

"When you win something there is no better feeling. I want to keep winning as much as I can."

Pressed on City's achievements, two-goal hero Foden added: "It is so hard to put into words what we've done today.

"No team has ever done it [won four in a row], we have put ourselves into the history books.

"You see what it means to the fans and to us players working all year for this moment. A special moment to share it with the fans."

City have now gone 35 matches unbeaten in all competitions (W29 D6), the longest run ever by a Premier League team.

Going further into English top-flight history, the only team with a longer unbeaten run is Nottingham Forest between March and November 1978 (40 in a row).

"I think to win the Premier League four times, no team has ever done it before, so to do it means we are up there [with the best teams of all time]," Foden added.

"All the lads have played in important games over the years and have got through this situation a few times as well so it certainly helps with the nerves.

"I thought today we just looked confident and played our football. In the end, it paid off, I am just absolutely shattered to be honest."

Manchester City clinched an unprecedented fourth straight Premier League title with a 3-1 final-day win over West Ham, with Phil Foden scoring twice at a sun-soaked Etihad Stadium.

Premier League Player of the Season Foden capped his outstanding campaign with two great goals when it mattered most, firing home from range in the second minute then adding another 16 minutes later.

Mohammed Kudus gave Arsenal a glimmer of hope in the title race when he halved the arrears with a remarkable overhead kick, but Rodri restored the champions' two-goal cushion after 59 minutes.

Pep Guardiola could relax from there and City were unfortunate not to add to their lead, finishing two points clear at the summit as Arsenal fought back to beat Everton 2-1.

West Ham, meanwhile, were already guaranteed to finish ninth and end their final campaign under David Moyes with 52 points, eight adrift of Manchester United in eighth.  

Mikel Arteta would have been praying for a solid start from West Ham, but City were ahead within 78 seconds as Foden's delicate touch took him away from James Ward-Prowse 25 yards out, allowing him to blast his shot into the top-left corner.

City laid siege to Alphonse Areola's goal from there, Jeremy Doku drawing two reflex saves from the visiting goalkeeper before Rodri prodded wide from a promising position. 

With West Ham chasing shadows, City went 2-0 up when Foden swept across goal and in after fine work from Doku on the left wing. 

Erling Haaland somehow failed to convert from close range before West Ham suddenly grew in stature, and Kudus introduced some jeopardy with an incredible overhead kick with 42 minutes gone. 

Haaland missed another glaring chance just before half-time, then Kevin De Bruyne and Foden fired wide as the crowd grew increasingly nervous after the interval.

However, Rodri settled City's nerves just before the hour mark, side-footing beyond the dive of Areola after being teed up by Bernardo Silva on the edge of the area.

Haaland went close on two more occasions as City looked to kill the game once and for all, before Tomas Soucek had a goal disallowed for an obvious handball at the other end following a VAR review. 

That was the last tense moment City had to endure as they celebrated yet another title, finishing the campaign with nine straight wins to edge out the Gunners. 

Fitting end to Foden's season

A series of talismanic displays in the run-in contributed to Foden earning Player of the Season honours, not least a pair of match-winning hat-tricks against Brentford and Aston Villa. He saved his best for last, however. 

Foden's stunning opener was his sixth goal from outside the area in the Premier League this season, three more than any other player in the competition and the most ever netted by a City player in a single campaign.

His second, a cultured finish into the far corner from Doku's cutback, was his 19th in the Premier League in 2023-24. Raheem Sterling in 2019-20 (20) is the only English player to ever better that tally for City in a single season.

While it was Rodri's goal that allowed City to breathe after a tense period either side of half-time, it was fitting that Foden played a starring role on the decisive day.

Kudos to Kudus

Moyes' 198th and final Premier League game in charge of West Ham may have ended in defeat, but Kudus' stunning strike at least gave the Scot something to savour on his Hammers swansong.

Taking advantage of some slack set-piece defending, Kudus flicked the ball into the air, held off Josko Gvardiol and gave Stefan Ortega no chance with a brilliant, improvised finish.

He ends his first Premier League campaign with eight goals, a tally only bettered by Jarrod Bowen (16) among his Irons team-mates.

Pep Guardiola thinks Phil Foden can still get better, after the 23-year-old winning the Premier League’s Player of the Year.

Foden has been a pivotal part of City’s title challenge this season, scoring 17 goals and providing eight assists in the top-flight in 2023-24.

It is the youngster’s most prolific scoring season for City, while only six players have bettered Foden’s goal haul in the Premier League.

When asked about the strides that Foden has made this season, leading him to the award, Guardiola praised the England international’s influence on the squad.

"Obviously, he makes a step forward as a football player. In terms of minutes or time, but he's decisive in winning games," Guardiola said.

"Maybe before it was a glimpse of action, but now it's consistent. That is the truth, but they still have a margin. Sometimes his game is overexcited, it's over, and you have to be more calm because his excitement he has for himself, but we'll have question of time, but this season has been really, really important. Really, really important."

Foden has bettered his tally of 11 goals from last season and leads City’s squad for chances created this campaign with 68.

"He's moving forward, but I had the feeling he can be better, and I think he can do it because I've said many times, that he loves football," Guardiola added.

"He enjoys being on the pitch, and I think the feeling doesn't like when you have the day off.

"He likes to be in the training session doing less or more and I had the feeling it still can be better."

Manchester City can win a fourth-consecutive Premier League title on Sunday against West Ham, if they can match or better Arsenal's result.

Phil Foden has been named the Premier League's Player of the Year, having been sensational for Manchester City this season.

Foden has scored 17 goals and provided a further eight assists in the top flight in 2023-24.

The 23-year-old has been pivotal in City's quest to win an unprecedented fourth Premier League title.

Pep Guaridola's team head into their final game of the season, in which they face West Ham at home, needing a win to guarantee the crown.

Only six players have bettered Foden's goal tally, with the attacker enjoying his most profitable scoring season for City.

 

Foden's 17 goals have come from an expected goals figure of 10, suggesting his finishing has been way above what would have been anticipated based on the quality of chances he has had.

The England international, meanwhile, has had 99 shots, and leads City's squad for chances created (68).

"To win this award is an achievement that I am extremely proud of," Foden told Man City's official website.

"Overall, I've been very happy with the way I have played this season and really pleased that I have been able to contribute with the goals and assists throughout the season.

"I'd like to thank all of the City staff, coaches and especially my teammates because without them this wouldn’t be possible.

"And I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted for me as the award means a lot."

It is the fifth season in a row that a City player has won the award, with Kevin De Bruyne (2019-20, 2021-22), Ruben Dias (2020-21) and Erling Haaland (2022-23) having scooped it previously.

Erling Haaland’s double and Stefan Ortega’s superb save saw Manchester City beat Tottenham 2-0 to ensure Pep Guardiola’s team head into the final day of the season leading the Premier League.

Haaland, who had opened the scoring with a tap-in in the 51st minute, slammed in a stoppage-time penalty to send the travelling City supporters into delirium at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday.

That spot-kick followed a wonderful save from substitute goalkeeper Ortega at the other end, who denied Son Heung-min a would-be equaliser on a bizarre night where the home support never truly managed to get fully behind their side, given what was at stake for their rivals Arsenal.

But with Haaland’s double, City – now on 88 points, two clear of Arsenal – are on the cusp of an unprecedented fourth straight Premier League title, while Spurs’ Champions League hopes are over.

Ederson was forced into action after just six minutes as Bentancur got on the end of Brennan Johnson’s cutback, with his strike from just outside the penalty area was tipped over by City’s goalkeeper.

The best chance of the half fell to Foden, who – in the 16th minute – latched onto a dismal clearance from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, but his close-range volley was superbly kept out by Vicario.

It took City less than two minutes to test Vicario once again after the break as he made an excellent diving save to palm away Kevin De Bruyne’s curling effort from the edge of the box.

But Vicario had no chance four minutes later – Haaland tapping into an empty net after latching onto De Bruyn’s drilled delivery.

Ederson had to be taken off after a nasty clash with Cristian Romero, and while City’s goalkeeper was frustrated, his stand-in Ortega turned in a fantastic cameo.

Having twice denied Dejan Kulusevski from close range, Ortega then stood up brilliantly when one-on-one with Son.

It is a save that might just win City the league – Haaland subsequently making sure of the points after Jeremy Doku was brought down by Pedro Porro, leaving the reigning champions, who face West Ham on Sunday, on the brink of glory again.

De Bruyne provides the spark but Ortega the unlikely hero

When City needed the breakthrough, it was no surprise to see De Bruyne provide it. The Belgian has now provided 10+ assists, the joint-most of any player in Premier League’s history, along with Cesc Fabregas.

De Bruyne has now assisted Haaland 12 times in the Premier League, the most from one player to another in the competition in the last two seasons.

Haaland, meanwhile, is the first City player to score a brace away to Spurs in the Premier League since Edin Dzeko in August 2011.

Yet for the efforts of the attackers, it was Ortega who came up huge with those massive stops, with that save from Son likely to go down in City folklore.

Spurs’ defensive woes continue

City only managed two shots in the opening 45 minutes – only against Aston Villa in December (two) have they had as few shots in the first half of a Premier League game this season.

Yet the hosts eventually came undone, meaning Ange Postecoglou’s team have conceded in each of their last 10 games in the Premier League, their longest run without a clean sheet in the competition since September-December 2019 (also 10).

After failing to secure the three points needed, Tottenham are now unable to catch Villa in fourth place, meaning Unai Emery’s team clinch the final Champions League spot. 

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