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Bremen Targets Historic Domestic Double Against Aachen

Champions Werder Bremen have the chance to become only the fourth team to win a Bundesliga and Cup double when they face second division Alemannia Aachen in the German Cup final on Saturday.


Werder Bremen could use a last piece of Ailton magic.

There is no doubt who the favourites are for Saturday's game with Bremen expected to stroll past Aachen in Berlin and join Bayern Munich, Cologne and Schalke 04 in winning the domestic double.

The match is a swansong for Brazilian Ailton, 30, who will join soccer club Schalke 04 at the end of the season after six turbulent years at Werder.

"I found it difficult at the start but later on I enjoyed some of the finest moments of my career," declared Ailton.

Meisterschale für Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen's players raise the German Soccer champion's trophy during the prize-giving cermony on May 15, 2004.

After winning the Bundesliga title with a 3-1 win over Bayern Munich, Bremen took their foot off the pedal losing to Bayer Leverkusen (6-2) and Hansa Rostock (3-1), but the club is adamant there will be no slip-up against Aachen.

"The players were aware that nothing was at stake in the final few games," admitted manager Thomas Schaaf. "This time it is different. There is a trophy to win."

Aachen, who have already qualified for the UEFA Cup by reaching the final, are firm underdogs but have already defeated holders Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach to reach the Berlin showdown.

Bundesliga Fußball Aachen Bayern-München

Aachen's Dutch player, Erik Meijer, celebrates after scoring the final 2-1 winning goal against Munich during German soccer federation cup quarterfinal match on Feb 4, 2004.

After missing out on promotion to the Bundesliga, the players will be on a low but winning the cup final could soften the blow of spending another season in the German second division. "Winning promotion was our absolute priority and winning the Cup would not make up for our failure," said Aachen coach Jörg Berger.

Bayer Uerdingen were the last minnows to win the trophy in 1985, defeating the mighty Bayern 2-1.

However, Bremen have a good recent record in cup finals, winning three out of their last four in 1991, 1994 and 1999.

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