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German Cup: Bayern seek domestic double, Leverkusen want to lift curse

Berlin, Jul 3 (efe-epa).- This year’s Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are looking to secure a domestic double with a victory in the DFB-Pokal German Cup final on Saturday while their rivals Bayer Leverkusen hope to shake off a curse that has kept them from winning any title since 1993.

Since 1993, Leverkusen have been five times runners up in the Bundesliga and have lost two German Cup finals and one Champions League final.

It is a track-record that has haunted the team, which has become accustomed to being perpetual runners-up.

On two occasions, in 2000 against Bayern and in 2002 against Borussia Dortmund, Leverkusen lost the league title on the last match day.

It particularly hurt in 2000 when the team only needed to secure a draw against an already-relegated Unterhaching but ended up losing 2-0. Bayern went on to win that season.

At the time Leverkusen seemed the most capable of upsetting an ever-dominant Bayern, but it never came to pass.

Bayern, meanwhile, have won eight consecutive league titles, the most successful stretch in their history and remain in the Champions League.

The only hope Leverkusen have of entering Europe’s foremost club championship next year is if they manage to win the Europa League.

Bayern are the clear favorites for the German Cup this year, but Leverkusen can take some solace in the fact that they have already beaten the Bavarians this season.

Bayern manager Hansi Flick can once again call up Thiago Alcántara, who has recovered from a groin operation. It remains to be seen whether he will rely on the Spaniard or turn to his trusted formation of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka, who have had an impeccable end to the season.

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