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Growing excitement

Neuer: Every little detail might prove decisive

The Marienplatz has been cleared of the last traces of the championship celebrations, and all the beer glasses are back in their cabinets. “The celebrations are over,” Manuel Neuer declared on Tuesday, “from now on we're preparing for the DFB Cup final with focus and concentration.” Pep Guardiola duly put the FCB squad through their paces in the afternoon. The countdown has started: FC Bayern take on Borussia Dortmund at Berlin Olympic Stadium on Saturday at 20.00 CET.

“We're motivated, hungry and fired up, so it isn't hard to turn our focus to the final,” David Alaba said, back in fighting mood after the weekend celebrations. The Austrian is set to contest his fourth cup final, which is “always special,” according to the 23-year-old. “We're all very, very excited. You have to go a long way to make it to the final.”

The men from Munich know they have to go further still if they are to seal an 18th DFB Cup triumph. “The two best teams in Germany face off in Berlin,” commented Neuer. The 5-1 league victory in Munich and the goalless draw in Dortmund are already consigned to history. “What has happened before, our championship title – all that doesn't count,” warned Neuer, “the final is a one-off.” Alaba added: “We have to give it everything to be successful on Saturday.”

Alonso and Martínez doubtful

Borussia Dortmund's tactics under coach Thomas Tuchel is “a little different” from their style of play under predecessor Jürgen Klopp. “They’ve improved their passing game, they have more possession now,” according to Neuer. The Bundesliga runners-up “have made progress,” Alaba commented, “but that goes for us too!” Neuer suspects that “every detail might prove decisive. I like that. It's positive pressure for me.”

It remains to be seen whether Xabi Alonso will be available for selection in the last match of the season. The Spaniard, who is recovering from bruised ribs, turned in a few gentle laps on Tuesday morning. Javi Martínez, who has ankle problems, reported for an individual session and is also rated doubtful. Holger Bastuber, who is continuing his rehab after sustaining a fractured ankle, and Arjen Robben, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, definitely miss out.