Berlin - Borussia Dortmund aim to ruin Bayern Munich's plans
to farewell Pep Guardiola with a seventh title in three years when Germany's
top teams meet in Saturday's crunch German Cup final.
Victory over their main rivals at Berlin's Olympic Stadium
would give Bayern the league and cup double before Guardiola leaves for
Manchester City next season.
After Bayern lifted the Bundesliga title last weekend, for a
record fourth season in succession, Dortmund now want the cup to compensate.
"We will do everything to win," promised
Guardiola, who admits it will be tough against "the best Borussia (team)
Borussia finished 10 points behind Bayern in the league and
want to avoid losing their third straight German Cup final.
Dortmund controversially lost the 2014 final 2-0 to Bayern,
after extra time, and were beaten 3-1 by Wolfsburg in last year's final.
As midfielder Sven Bender put it, Dortmund has "no
desire to lose for a third time in succession in Berlin".
Bayern's captain Philipp Lahm says Guardiola has not only
improved the quality of Bayern's football, but helped develop each member of
the star-studded squad.
Now Lahm says the squad must raise their game to win one
last title before Carlo Ancelotti takes over as head coach next season.
"We have to improve, we weren't so impressive in our
last few games," said Lahm.
"We are up for Berlin and we want the double to show
that we have had a very good season."
Also read: Iheanacho prepared for Guardiola's coming
There is plenty of spice in the Olympic Stadium showdown
with a sell-out crowd of 74,322 expected.
"This is actually the best final that one can imagine
in Germany," enthused World Cup-winning coach Joachim Loew.
- Hummels under pressure -
Mats Hummels will be playing his final game before becoming
the third Borussia Dortmund star to join Bayern in the last three years, after
Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski.
The Dortmund captain expects a difficult afternoon:
"It's a strange feeling. Every mistake I make will be endlessly
The German league's top three strikers will be also be
shooting it out.
Top-scorer Lewandowski, the first foreigner to score 30
Bundesliga goals in a single season, will partner Bayern's Thomas Mueller, who
netted 20 league goals.
But Dortmund's Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who
hit the net 25 times in the Bundesliga, has predicted he will score twice in
"We don't see ourselves in the favourites' role, it is
a final against a team who were up with us right until the end of the
Bundesliga season," said Lahm.
"We know what's coming our way and that Dortmund will
be a tough nut to crack."
In Germany, there is a tradition of the winning team
toasting their victory with a 'beer shower', throwing over-sized glasses of
beer over each other after the final whistle.
But the German FA (DFB) has banned the celebrations, partly
because the teams are sponsored by rival beer manufacturers, neither of which
is a sponsor of the governing body.
- Holiday spirit -
Dortmund thrashed Bayern 5-2 in the 2012 German Cup final
and Bayern's star Franck Ribery wants no repeat of the debacle four years ago
to risk dampening their party spirit.
"In 2012, we were second three times (in the Champions
League final, the Bundesliga and German Cup final), that was a disaster for my
holiday," joked the French winger.
"In 2013, we won the treble and that was a super
"We have a great chance and we should use it, as you
never know what will happen next season."
Dortmund lost the 2014 final 2-0 in extra-time after they
had been denied a goal -- headed by Hummels of all people -- in normal time and
the Ruhr Valley club has clearly not forgotten.
"The last few finals against Bayern were decided by
wrong decisions," said director of sport Michael Zorc.
Bayern will be without injured winger Arjen Robben.
Centre-back Javi Martnez is struggling with an ankle injury,
while Xabi Alonso should be fit after recovering from bruised ribs.
Dortmund are missing defensive midfielder Ilkay Gundogan,
who is recovering from a dislocated knee, but winger Marco Reus should play
after getting over a cold.For
the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us
on Twitter and like our Facebook page.