Premier League's top six has never looked stronger – that might attract more stars to England but it doesn't look good for the other teams

 
Trevor Steven
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Chelsea's 13-match winning run has exemplified the strength of the top six (Source: Getty)

Wednesday night’s clash between Tottenham and Chelsea is likely to be a key moment in the destiny of this season’s Premier League title race, but it is more than that.

It is also a reminder of the formidable quality of the top six in England, which is currently as strong as I can ever remember it being.

And as we look to the months ahead, it is a topic that I expect to increasingly dominate football debate in this country.

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Leading the way are Chelsea, and it is hard to see any team that has won 13 games in succession going on to endure a bad enough slump to lose their advantage in the title race.

While Jose Mourinho is only now finding his feet at Manchester United and Pep Guardiola looks a confused soul at Manchester City, Conte really has done a fantastic job of adapting to England in his first season, while his enthusiasm has also won over more of the neutrals.

Visiting a Tottenham side who have also had some fantastic moments this term appears the biggest test since Chelsea’s return to form, but if they make it win No14 then it’ll look like their title to lose.

Carrick key to resurgent Man United

United are on a six-game winning streak of their own, having truly turned the corner.

It has taken a settling-in period, the exclusion of Wayne Rooney and the coming to the fore of Paul Pogba, but perhaps the key has been the introduction of Michael Carrick.

I expect them to now go from strength to strength.

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The fact that they remain in the same league position – sixth – as before they embarked on their winning run tells you everything about the strength of that leading group, however.

For the first time I can recall at this stage of the year, all the teams you’d expect to be up there are. It is super-competitive and there isn’t another top six like it in Europe.

The buying power has made the biggest half-dozen clubs even stronger. They turn over huge sums but hardly make any money because it is largely reinvested. They are all brand-building and they are there to stay.

More diamonds on way to England

This continual investment is likely to mean more leading stars heading to England, with the likes of Chelsea, United, City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs now at the point where they can cherry-pick.

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The increased spending power of English clubs could attract the likes of Lewandowski (Source: Getty)

They can focus on going for the absolute diamonds, players like Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi.

Douglas Costa, also of Bayern, is another I really like as there aren’t many powerful left-footers who like to go past opponents.

Will Premier League become too predictable?

The worry with the increasing strength of the top six is that the Premier League will become predictable, a two-tier division.

I don’t see how any of the clubs below them can compete, and I expect that to become an increasing theme over the coming seasons.

The transformation of the top six teams into global brands will only help them leave the others behind, and I don’t see that changing.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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