BERLIN, Germany, May 11 – Bayern Munich are out to break their losing streak to German champions Borussia Dortmund in Saturday’s domestic cup final as their Champions League showdown with Chelsea looms.
Dortmund have beaten Bayern both home and away for the last two seasons on their way to claiming back-to-back league titles and Borussia are bidding to win the league and cup double for the first time in their 103-year history.
The last of Dortmund’s two previous German cups wins was back in 1989, while Bayern come to Berlin’s Olympic Stadium chasing their 16th cup title.
The Bavarians host the Champions League final against Chelsea at their own Allianz Arena stadium on Saturday May 19 and while they could be forgiven for being distracted, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer insists all eyes are on Berlin
“All we’re thinking about is this final. We’ve forgotten the other matches,” he insisted.
“Obviously, there are a lot of reports about the Champions League final, but everyone saw how overjoyed we were in Moenchengladbach when we made it to the cup final.
“We’re fired up for the match and want to win the trophy.”
Neuer played a key role in the cup semi-final victory at Gladbach in March with a crucial save in the penalty shoot-out and is determined to hoist the golden trophy again having captained Schalke to their 2011 cup victory.
Lifting the German cup would also be a perfect foundation for the Champions League final the week after, says 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 Mueller.
“We want to show them that this isn’t how it’s going to be for the next five years.”
Mueller 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.