Jupp Heynckes can ensure he leaves Bayern Munich on the highest of high notes on Saturday as he leads Bayern Munich out in the DFB-Pokal final looking to complete an incredible and unique treble. Victory against Stuttgart in Berlin’s Olympiastadion would also put an emphatic seal on their season of redemption. After finishing runners-up in the Bundesliga, Champions League and German Cup last season, Bayern have already put right two of their disappointments.
It is just one week removed from Bayern’s dramatic triumph against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley as the Bavarians overcame their demons with Arjen Robben scoring an 89th minute winner. It was Dortmund that had beaten Bayern resoundingly in last year’s DFB-Pokal final and it is that trophy that now stands in the way of history.
“It's a huge chance to achieve something unique, something which we've never had before in German footballing history,” captain Philipp Lahm said, according to Bayern’s official website. Despite the jubilation from lifting the European Cup, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has insisted that there has been no letup in the squad’s hunger in the past week. “You notice it in the dressing room: we're still hungry!” he said. “We're really, really enthusiastic. We want to keep it up and win the next trophy.”
Bayern’s preparations have been dented, though, with the Brazilian pair of Dante and Luiz Gustavo having to report for international duty. Few will expect that to make a huge impact when taking on a side that finished 12th in the Bundesliga and beat just one top flight side on their way to the final. Also counting against Stuttgart is a 6-1 defeat they suffered at the Allianz Arena earlier in the season which was followed up by a 2-0 home loss. If Bruno Labbadia’s side are to have a chance then they will likely need their top scorer Venad Ibisevic to be at the top of his game.
Bayern Munich (probable)
D: Lahm, Boateng, Van Buyten, Alaba
M: Javi Martinez, Schweinsteiger
Robben, Muller, Ribery
D: Salaki, Tasci, Niedermeier, Molinaro
M: Harnik, Gentner, Boka, Traore
Prediction: Although Dante made a rare error in conceding a penalty in the Champions League final, his absence will be a blow. But Bayern’s incredible defensive record this season is as a result of the work of the entire team and the central defender’s loss is unlikely to impact the result. Bayern have been unstoppable throughout the season and there is nothing to suggest that Stuttgart, having struggled to score throughout the campaign, can prevent Bavarian perfection.
Bayern Munich 3-0 Stuttgart
Where to watch: The DFB-Pokal final will kick-off at 2 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by ESPN News, with a live stream available on ESPN3.