Bay­ern faces fu­ture coach in Ger­man Cup fi­nal

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Sports -

SATUR­DAY’S Ger­man Cup fi­nal be­tween Bay­ern Munich and Ein­tra­cht Frank­furt will be a tale of two coaches - Bay­ern’s out­go­ing coach Jupp Heynckes and his re­place­ment Frank­furt’s Niko Ko­vac. Heynckes would like to bow out at Bay­ern Munich with an­other league and cup dou­ble while his re­place­ment Niko Ko­vac also wants to leave Ein­tra­cht Frank­furt on a high in the fi­nal. Any talk of split loy­al­ties for Ko­vac has been quashed by both sides, with a school of thought say­ing the Croa­t­ian is even more des­per­ate to win be­cause if Bay­ern clinches the dou­ble he will have ex­tra pres­sure to at least re­peat the feat next sea­son. Frank­furt was an­noyed with Bay­ern for ap­proach­ing Ko­vac just as it was en­ter­ing the end-spurt of the sea­son. Re­sults in the Bun­desliga fell away, mean­ing it fin­ished eighth and must now win the Cup to get into the Europa League. If Frank­furt loses, VfB Stuttgart will head to Europe hav­ing ended a roller-coaster sea­son in sev­enth. Frank­furt missed out on sev­enth af­ter a 1-0 loss to Schalke on Satur­day in the fi­nal Bun­desliga game of the sea­son. “We have to tick off the game and forget it,” Ko­vac said. “I hope we will have more look on Satur­day in the fi­nal.”

While Ko­vac will take cen­ter stage for some at Ber­lin’s Olympic Sta­dium, the day will be­long to retiring Bay­ern coach Heynckes. The 73-year-old thought he had re­tired be­fore, af­ter lead­ing Bay­ern to a tre­ble in 2013, but came back as an emer­gency stop-gap in Septem­ber fol­low­ing the sack­ing of Carlo Ancelotti. Cham­pi­ons League glory has es­caped him this time but fin­ish- ing off with a Cup tri­umph hav­ing strolled to the Bun­desliga ti­tle would still be a fit­ting end for one of the gen­tle­men of the game.

Its Bun­desliga ti­tle party last Satur­day was slightly soured by a 4-1 home de­feat by Stuttgart but Heynckes was un­ruf­fled. “In Ber­lin, you will see a dif­fer­ent Bay­ern,” he said. His play­ers will do ev­ery­thing to give him a proper send-off. “I think if we win the Cup fi­nal, the coach will be happy. Jupp is a great, where the word legend is ap­pro­pri­ate,” said de­fender Mats Hum­mels, who is a slight doubt with a foot in­jury. A big­ger doubt is the pres­ence of goal­keeper Manuel Neuer, out since Septem­ber with a bro­ken foot but now back in full train­ing. He is des­per­ate to prove his fit­ness to keep his Ger­many World Cup place but me­dia re­ports sug­gest Sven Ul­re­ich will re­main in goal against Frank­furt, with Neuer hop­ing two World Cup warm-up games will be enough to con­vince Joachim Löw. One Bay­ern big name that will def­i­nitely be miss­ing is cen­ter back Jerome Boateng, who is nurs­ing a thigh in­jury which should not im­pact his World Cup hopes but will rule him out of a meet­ing with Frank­furt and his brother Kevin-Prince. “For the Boateng fam­ily, it is ob­vi­ously very sad. We are both dis­ap­pointed,” said Kevin-Prince, who is at least look­ing for­ward to play­ing in his home city of Ber­lin. “It is some­thing spe­cial and it will be very emo­tional. I al­ways wanted to play this game and not watch it on tele­vi­sion,” said the de­fender. His brother though will hope his side does bet­ter than last sea­son when they lost the Cup fi­nal 2-1 to Borus­sia Dort­mund.

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