Borussia Dortmund are as good as Bundesliga champions already, according to the last man to guide them to the title.
Jurgen Klopp's men sit 10 points clear of Mainz and Bayer Leverkusen at the halfway stage, with defending champions Bayern Munich four points further back.
And Matthias Sammer, who led Dortmund to the title in 2002, claims the chasing pack are competing for second place.
"Something unforeseeable has to happen to Borussia for (them not to win the title)," Sammer, now sporting director at the German Football Association, said in an interview with the Bild newspaper.
He added: "I believe that for Bayern and also Leverkusen it's about getting second place and with it direct entry into the Champions League."
Sammer admits he has been surprised by Dortmund's dominance so far this season, though.
"This dominance and such a confident manner are a surprise to me. Dortmund are not only successful, but are also playing unbelievably great football," said the former European Footballer of the Year.