The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Guardiola drops Mandzukic for German Cup final, Schweinsteiger out with knee injury
BERLIN - Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola dropped Mario Mandzukic for the German Cup final against Borussia Dortmund and said Friday that Bastian Schweinsteiger will also miss Saturday's game.
"Basti is injured, a problem with his knee. Mandzukic is my decision," Guardiola said at the Olympic Stadium.
Schweinsteiger, who is aiming for a record seventh German Cup win, strained a tendon in his left knee in last Saturday's 1-0 Bundesliga win over Stuttgart.
Guardiola said he hoped the midfielder would recover in time for Germany at the World Cup but that he couldn't make a prognosis.
"I'm not a doctor," the former Barcelona coach said.
Mandzukic isn't injured and Guardiola implied he could have played but for his coaching decision to leave the Croat out.
The decision has fueled speculation that Mandzukic is leaving the club. Bild reported that the striker had already flown back to Croatia.
Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski, who will play for Bayern next season, is likely to play against his future side after shaking off a calf problem.
Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said Lewandowski was expected to take full part in Friday's training session. The Poland striker broke off Thursday's session as a precaution.
"We were very careful with him," Klopp said.
Backup goalkeeper Mitch Langerak is out with minor knee injury. Klopp said he expected the Australian to recover in two or three weeks.
Dortmund, which finished runner-up in the Bundesliga, is out to prevent Bayern from winning the double in Guardiola's first season in charge.
"To be German champions, that's enough. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise," Klopp joked with his counterpart.
Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl said Klopp had sent the players motivational pictures from the 2012 final in which Dortmund defeated Bayern 5-2.
"It will be an evenly matched game," Kehl said.
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