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DFB-Pokal Preview: Bayern Munich v Stuttgart

Bayern Munich will be aiming for an historic treble in Saturday’s DFB-Pokal final against Stuttgart at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.

Jupp Heynckes’ side have swept all before them this season, claiming the Bundesliga by a record 25 points from Borussia Dortmund before a late Arjen Robben goal gave them a 2-1 victory in the UEFA Champions League final against Juergen Klopp’s side at Wembley last Saturday.

Now they can give Heynckes, who will depart the Allianz Arena to make way for incoming coach Pep Guardiola at season’s end, the perfect farewell.

No German side has been able to achieve a treble of league, cup and continental trophy, not even the legendary Bayern team of the 1970s, captained by Franz Beckenbauer, which won three successive European Cups from 1974-1976.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes the present squad can make themselves immortals of the game should they triumph against Stuttgart.

“This team has already entered the history books, but they can make themselves immortal now as the most successful Bayern team of all time,” Rummenigge said.

“The generation including Beckenbauer, (Gerd) Mueller and (Sepp) Meier in the 1970s never managed to win the lot.

“The only mistake we could make, and it’s doing the rounds in the media at the moment, is to think we’re approaching the easiest part and we’ll easily beat Stuttgart.

“We have to concentrate 100 percent.

“Stuttgart didn’t have a great Bundesliga season, but they can salvage the whole thing by beating the Champions League winners. Stuttgart will be totally motivated.”

Stuttgart finished a disappointing 12th in the Bundesliga this term, but limbered up for the final with a 10-0 thumping of Oberliga (Germany’s fifth tier) side Reutlingen on Saturday.

Coach Bruno Labbadia knows his team will be battling big odds to win their first major trophy since the 2006-07 Bundesliga, a year in which they were beaten 3-2 in the DFB-Pokal final by Nuremberg.

“It’s a good thing to play in a final and we believe you can beat a seemingly all-powerful team on a perfect day,” Labbadia said.

“As things stand now, we have to reach our maximum and hope that Bayern don’t play at their highest level that day.

“That’s not the situation that I prefer. I would rather run ahead than try to keep up.

“I’d prefer for us to be favourites, that would mean we wouldn’t have any problems.”

Thu 30 May, 2013
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