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Laurens: Pastore matures for PSG

Ligue 1 16 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 17, 2008

Bayern Munich eye first half of another double

BERLIN, April 17 (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund require a spectacular reversal of fortune if they are to deprive Bayern Munich of the first half of a domestic double in the German Cup final at the Olympiastadion on Saturday (1800 GMT).

While Bayern stand on the brink of a 21st league title and their fans are still purring at the memory of a 5-0 win over Dortmund last weekend, their opponents could hardly be in worse shape.

They followed up that humiliation in Munich with a 3-1 defeat at home to Hanover 96 on Wednesday that left them just three places clear of the relegation zone.

'I need to see my team pick themselves up,' Dortmund coach Thomas Doll said after the game. 'We're in a sorry state.'

To add to the problems, Doll still does not know who will keep goal in the Berlin final.

Roman Weidenfeller was recently ruled out for the rest of the season while his understudy Marc Ziegler missed Wednesday's game with a knee injury.

Doll surprised everyone by picking fourth choice keeper Marcel Hoettecke to play Hanover and the 20-year-old looked at fault on the first two goals.

A first class goalkeeping display will be the minimum required on Saturday.

Bayern restored their 10-point lead at the top when Luca Toni scored his 19th and 20th league goals of the season to seal a 3-1 win in Frankfurt on Wednesday after the visitors had fallen behind.

'Luca was once again ice-cold in front of goal,' coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said of the Italian international.

'He showed his killer instinct.

'The mental strength of the player is incredible.'

Bayern have won the Cup 13 times and victory on Saturday - assuming they go on and win the league as well - would mean a seventh league and cup double, and their third in four seasons.

Dortmund have won the Cup twice, most recently in 1989.

Saturday's match will be a special one for Hitzfeld, who led Dortmund to European Cup glory in 1997 before starting his first spell in charge of Bayern.

Hitzfeld won the German Cup with Bayern in 2000 and 2003 and this will be his last chance to complete a hat-trick, as he will leave the club at the end of the season to take over as Swiss national team coach.