Clash of the titans in domestic cup final

Clash of the titans in domestic cup final
Photo: DPA
Bayern Munich is hoping to break its losing streak against champions Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's German cup final. The domestic prize comes before the club's Champions League showdown with Chelsea.

“All we’re thinking about is this final. We’ve forgotten the other matches,” said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

The Bavarians will host the Champions League final against Chelsea at their own Allianz Arena stadium on Saturday May 19, but Neuer insists all eyes are on Berlin for this weekend’s match against their bitter rivals.

“Obviously, there are a lot of reports about the Champions League final, but everyone saw how overjoyed we were in Mönchengladbach when we made it to the cup final,” he added.

Bayern have been defeated by Dortmund both home and away in the last two seasons as their rivals soared on their way towards claiming back-to-back league titles. Unbeaten Dortmund is bidding for the cup double for the first time in their 103-year history after an impressive season.

Meanwhile, Bayern are ready to fight for their 16th cup title.

“We’re fired up for the match and want to win the trophy,” said Neuer, whose crucial save in the penalty shoot-out played a key role in the cup semi-final victory at Gladbach in March.

Lifting the German cup would also be a perfect foundation for the Champions League final the week after, said Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper.

“We’ve had a good season as a team, but it’ll only be a superb season if we win trophies,” said Neuer. “The result in the cup final will definitely influence the mood, that much is clear, so we’ll do everything we can to win the cup.”

Bayern last beat Dortmund in February 2010 and the Bavarian giants are not used to losing regularly to a rival from within Germany.

“When you lose four times, there is a certain anger,” said Germany midfielder Thomas Müller. “We want to show them that this isn’t how it’s going to be for the next five years.”

Müller is not the only Bayern star itching to break the losing streak.

“We all have a burning desire, we want to win,” said Munich’s Dutch winger Arjen Robben. Unbeaten in their last 22 games in all competitions since losing to Marseille in the Champions League last December, Dortmund have yet to lose in 2012.

“It’s one of the biggest matches in Germany of recent years. We’re totally looking forward to it,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.

Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller has said the showdown is too close to call.

“It’s a clash between evenly-matched sides, both teams have already achieved great things,” he said. “Bayern have the Champions League final against Chelsea and we’ve won the league, so it’s already a successful season for both clubs.”

Both teams will be at full strength for the showcase final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, although Bayern vice-captain and Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger has admitted he is still carrying an ankle injury.


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