2011 DFB-Pokal Final - Schalke vs Duisburg

Schalke takes on Duisburg in the 2011 DFB-Pokal Final on Saturday and the winner will earn a spot in the Playoff Round of the 2011-2012 Europa League. Schalke are looking to cap off a disappointing Bundesliga season with a trophy, while Duisburg is the first 2.Bundesliga club to challenge for the cup since Alemannia Aachen in 2004.

Schalke will be looking to win their first silverware since 2005 when they won the now defunct Ligapokal. Coming into this match, Schalke have lost 6 matches in a row in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. Ralf Rangnick's side will be looking to turn things around in the cup final after a disappointing campaign in the league schedule. They finished a disappointing fourteenth in the table this season after coming in as runners-up last season.

Duisburg are in their first cup final since 1998 when they lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich. The 2.Bundesliga side started the season strong and appeared on target for promotion back to the first division halfway through the season. The second half of the season wasn't as kind to the club, and they found themselves finishing a disappointing 8th.

Schalke will be led up front by the incomparable Raul Gonzales who will be looking to win his first domestic league cup. He scored the game winner in the semifinals against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, and he will be looking to bag a few more goals in the Olympiastadion in Berlin. In goal will be the Germany number one Manuel Neuer. Neuer will be wearing the captain's armband in what is most likely his final match wearing the Schalke shirt. He will be hoping to bring a trophy to his hometown club in his final appearance before allegedly moving on to Bayern Munich.

Duisburg is coming into the match without their captain and leading goalscorer Srđan Baljak who will miss the match with a knee injury. They'll also be without the services of defender Julian Koch who is also missing out with an injury. Duisburg will have to hope for a spectacular performance from David Yelldell in the goal. They will also be looking for a goal from Austrian forward Stefan Maierhofer to pick up for the loss of Baljak .

Schalke's path to the final included victories over 3rd Liga side VfR Aalen, 2.Bundesliga sides FSV Frankfurt and Augsburg, and Bundesliga sides Nürnberg and Bayern Munich. Duisburg's path had they face Regionalliga (fourth division) sides VfB Lubeck and Hallescher FC, 2.Bundesliga side Energie Cottbus, and Bundesliga sides Koln and Kaiserslautern.

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