World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi has tipped Mario Balotelli to rediscover his best form with AC Milan this season, claiming he belongs at the top of the Italian game.
Balotelli, 25, is set to make his second debut for the Rossoneri in the Derby della Madonnina this weekend, having netted 26 goals in 43 Serie A appearances during his first spell for the club. He also scored 20 goals in 59 league games for Inter, but found the back of the net only once during his time in the Premier League for Liverpool last term.
That was an anomaly, according to Lippi, who says he is convinced the striker will be picking up the headlines for all the right reasons this season, and not -- like at the weekend -- for being caught speeding.
"He's not an unknown prospect," Lippi told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Mario is going to win this battle. A player like him has got to be among the leading players of the Italian game."
Lippi believes the Rossoneri have hit the jackpot by signing him back and predicts they will enjoy a successful season under Sinisa Mihajlovic, just as long as all of the players pull their weight.
"I would advise them to listen to what the coach has to say," he added. "I can't see any weaknesses in their squad. They have [Alessio] Romagnoli who does not seem at all put off by his price tag, and I am sure he will become another great Rossoneri defender.
"In midfield the have [Nigel] De Jong and the talented [Giacomo] Bonaventura, and I expect Mihajlovic to get [Riccardo] Montolivo back into the thick of things. And then they have [Carlos] Bacca and Luiz Adriano up front."
Nevertheless, Lippi believes Milan will have to fight for a place in the Champions League next season with their city rivals Inter Milan, and his two favourites for the title Juventus and Roma.
"Anybody who thinks that Juve are in a crisis is committing a big mistake -- they will be there or thereabouts right to the very end as they bid for a fifth straight Scudetto," said the 67-year-old. "Roma are almost on a par with them. The Giallorossi have landed two or three big signings. [Edin] Dzeko is the striker they needed and I've also been impressed with the way [Lucas] Digne has slotted in."