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Football | Germany

Giants ready for crunch Cup showdown



German Cup holders Borussia Dortmund are ready to fight to retain their title in Wednesday's quarterfinal showdown at rivals Bayern Munich, according to Germany star Marco Reus.

"It will be a really good fight, we're up for it," said Reus, after his team drew 1-1 at his former club Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday in the Bundesliga.

On Saturday, Bayern rested six of their stars for the cup clash at Munich's Allianz Arena, but still romped to a 6-1 league win over 10-man Werder Bremen to leave them 17 points clear and running away with the Bundesliga title.

"These are the two best teams in Germany. I reckon the whole nation is looking forward to it - and so are we," said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm.

With such a huge deficit in the league, Dortmund have only a mathematical chance of claiming a third straight Bundesliga title, but the quarterfinal is a repeat of last season's German Cup final.

Dortmund romped to a 5-2 win in Berlin last May with a hat-trick from Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who has been heavily linked to a move to Bayern either at the end of the season or when his contract expires in June 2014.

Despite Reus' confidence, Dortmund laboured at Gladbach on Sunday with both Lewandowski and reserve striker Julian Schieber suspended, but the Poland star will be back in action on Wednesday.

Germany midfielder Mario Goezte, playing up front as a lone striker, netted a 31st-minute penalty for Dortmund, but Gladbach equalised through 19-year-old Amin Younes, who was making only his third Bundesliga appearance.

"We did well in the first half, but we have to accept the responsibility for not performing well in the second," said Reus.

"We didn't move well in the first half, which is not like us at all. We'll need to analyse this later and improve it before the Bayern game."

Dortmund's Germany centre-back Mats Hummels came off with a bruised thigh as a precaution, while Bayern Munich's defensive midfielder Javi Martinez came off after 52 minutes of the Bremen game with a light groin injury.

"It was just a precaution," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. "He will be able to train with the team again on Monday."

The win over Bremen extended Bayern's unbeaten run to 20 matches since their last defeat, at home to Bayer Leverkusen last October, and came with half a dozen changes from the team which won 3-1 at Arsenal in the Champions League.

Germany midfield stars Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller all sat out, as did striker Mario Mandzukic and left-back David Alaba, while centre-back Jerome Boateng came in for Daniel van Buyten, who had a cold.

In their absence, Mario Gomez netted twice, while Robben and Martinez both scored, as did winger Franck Ribery, who misses the quarterfinal with suspension.

Bayern have conceded just eight goals in the league this season, but Robben said the defence can expect a much tougher challenge than the one Bremen provided.

"Wednesday will be a totally different game at a very high level. It'll come down to tiny details," said the Dutch star.

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