Sir Alex Ferguson believes that, for all the money Manchester City have spent on new players this summer, the top four are likely to remain unchanged.
He feels his Manchester United side, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal will again be fighting it out at the top of the table in the new Barclays Premier League campaign.
Ferguson, who is preparing to face Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday, said: "It is difficult for any side to break into the top four with the consistency and the quality of the teams.
"Over the last few years those teams have competed for the semi-finals and finals of European Cups. It is great consistency and a great level of performance. I think everyone in Europe recognises the league in England is strong, although some people are talking about Real Madrid and Barcelona starting to dominate again. I have my doubts about that."
City have raised the bar in the transfer market by buying Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz and Gareth Barry.
Ferguson added: "Ourselves, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal are looking at what is happening there with great interest in how it will pan out. You look at the money that has been spent - every week City are on the back pages. None of us have gone into the market in a big way. In fact we sold players. It has been really quiet with the big four."