Former AC Milan captain Paolo Maldini believes Juventus, Napoli and Inter will fight it out for this season's Scudetto.
Antonio Conte's side are currently in first place but an improving Nerazzurri and the Partenopei are following closely in the Bianconeri's wake.
And Maldini has tipped one of those three to eventually lift the league title, but counted his former club out of the running.
"The removal of Milan from third place is important and I do not think the teams in front of them will slow down," he told Tuttosport.
"Fiorentina, Roma and Lazio are very competitive this season and I am sure they will make it hard for Milan to peg them back. The Scudetto? It's a three-way fight between Juventus, Inter and Napoli."
"The Rossoneri were not capable of much earlier this season. The changes during the off-season were enormous in terms of men, players and personalities. They have required a little bit of patience, thats all."
Maldini reserved special praise for Stephan El Shaarawy, though, who has emerged as the surprise package of the season with 13 goals in Serie A.
"El Shaarawy has shown great class. He is a modern player because he works in both phases, attack and defence. He is proving to be a relentless goalscorer. I did not expect so much from him," he added.
The former Azzurri skipper also spoke highly of his former international team-mate, Francesco Totti, who continues to blossom even at the grand age of 36-years-old.
"Totti is without a doubt still a major player in Italian football. The way in which he plays for Roma and helps the attackers around him is amazing. Thanks to new methods of training Totti can still play at such a high level."