Germany's top two teams are set to face each other in the German Cup final. Bayern and Dortmund have history in the competition, and Saturday's contest will be the last for two key figures at their respective clubs.
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has achieved much during his spell in the Bavarian capital. He led the team to the Bundesliga title three consecutive seasons and won a German Cup. When he heads to the sidelines at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Saturday evening, Guardiola will be looking to achieve the double for the second time in his tenure at Bayern, but no matter what the outcome, he will likely be remembered by many for having failed to achieve what was expected of him when he moved to Munich in 2013 - winning the Champions League.
'Time for another coach'
"Sorry, but I wasn't perfect," the Spaniard quipped after the Bundesliga season ended last weekend.
"If you don't manage it in three years, it's time for another coach," he concluded.
Guardiola, who will be bound for Manchester City of the English Premier League this summer, has nonetheless pledged that his team "will do everything" in their power to send him off with another title. He also noted that it would be a tough match against "the best Borussia in history."
While Bayern finished a full 10 points clear of their nearest rivals in the Bundesliga this season, Dortmund were way above the rest of the pack - and their 78 points were the highest total for any team to finish second in the league's history.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Bayern capitain Philipp Lahm also insisted that he and his teammates were determined to deliver the double for their outgoing coach to "turn a good season into a very good season."
In Saturday's contest, Lahm and co. will be facing a former and future teammate inDortmund captain Mats Hummels,
who will be making his last appearance in the yellow and black, after the Ruhr Valley club complied with his request to return to the Bavarian capital.
Not surprisingly, Hummels, who came up through Bayern's youth system before moving to Dortmund in 2008, has also expressed his determination to do his all to ensure victory.
"It's a strange feeling, every mistake I make will be endlessly dissected," Hummels replied when asked about the final.
His departure is asore point among Dortmund fans,
partly as it make him the third key Borussia player to move to Bayern in the past three seasons, following Robert Lewandowski and Mario Götze.
Familiar cup foes
The two club's also have plenty of recent cup history. Bayern defeated Dortmund in extra time in both the 2008 and 2014 finals, while Borussia thrashed the Bavarians 5-2 to win it in 2012.
In the Bundesliga this season, Bayern hammered Dortmund 5-1 at Munich's Allianz Arena back in October, but the two teams played to a scoreless draw in the Signal Iduna Park in March.
Bayern will enter the contest with a bit of injury trouble, with winger Arjen Robben and central defender Javi Martinez still out with injury. Xavi Alonso could be ready for action after recovering from bruised ribs. On Friday afternoon Bayern announced that Götze had been ruled out of the final with a fractured rib.
Dortmund wlll be without midfielder Ilkay Gündogan, who recently had a knee operation, butMarco Reus
is expected to be available after getting over a cold.
pfd/dv (SID, dpa, AFP, Reuters)