Liverpool vs. Darmstadt – Reds end pre-season with ‘home’ friendly in Preston

The Reds are back in England for their final pre-season friendly as they face Darmstadt on Monday night at Preston’s Deepdale Stadium, with the real business looming on the horizon.

Liverpool’s 2023/24 preparations have consisted of trips to Germany and Singapore to face a variety of opposition in an attempt to get in shape for what is to come.

Just one more fixture separates Jurgen Klopp‘s side from the season opener against Chelsea, presenting a last opportunity for match fitness before the Premier League kicks off.

Here, we’re taking a closer look at the opposition and the fixture ahead of the clash.


Who are Darmstadt?

KARLSRUHER, GERMANY - Wednesday, July 19, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp greets the supporters after a pre-season friendly match between Karlsruher SC and Liverpool FC at the Wildparkstadion. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Monday’s opponents agonisingly missed out on capturing the 2. Bundesliga title last season after finishing level on points with winners Heidenheim, but their efforts did secure them promotion to the top flight for the first time since 2017.

It is the first time the two clubs have ever met, with Klopp also not coming up against Darmstadt in his managerial career.

The German side have been managed by Torsten Lieberknecht since 2021, who was previously in charge of Duisburg and Eintracht Braunschweig.


Why is the match at Deepdale?

PRESTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 13, 2013: A general view of the Bill Shankly Stand Preston North End's Deepdale before a preseason friendly match against Liverpool. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While Liverpool are completing their 2023/24 preparations back in England, they will do so away from Anfield for this encounter.

The club confirmed last month that Preston North End’s stadium will play host to the fixture due to the ongoing development of the Anfield Road End, which is now set to be fully completed in October.

Preston themselves will play their first home fixture of the new campaign just 24 hours later as they welcome Salford for the first round of the EFL Cup.


More goals?

SINGAPORE - Wednesday, August 2, 2023: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk celebrates after scoring the second goal during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern Munich FC at the Singapore National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It has been a somewhat chaotic pre-season so far, with the Reds netting 15 times but conceding 10 goals in their first four summer friendlies.

Liverpool’s forwards have looked sharp and have given the manager plenty to think about when it comes to selection in 2023/24, but things have looked less assured in the other direction.

The 3-4-3 ‘box’ formation we are growing accustomed to in possession left the Reds exposed at times against Bayern Munich, with Klopp admitting that his side’s defending was “not great” in his post-match press conference.


Chelsea on the mind

SINGAPORE - Sunday, July 30, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at the Singapore National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Monday night’s clash presents Klopp with the opportunity for one final look at his side before the new campaign gets underway, with the trip to Stamford Bridge likely to be at the forefront of his thoughts.

The manager made wholesale changes at the interval in each of the first three summer friendlies, but the Bayern Munich game saw the senior players begin to get more minutes into their legs with 2023/24 drawing closer.

Liverpool’s starting lineup could give us an insight into the team we can expect to see in the Premier League opener, with plenty of spaces on the teamsheet still up for grabs and a defensive midfield signing still yet to be made.

Likely lineup vs. Darmstadt: Allison, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Jones, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Salah, Gakpo, Diaz


How to watch

SINGAPORE - Wednesday, August 2, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern Munich FC at the Singapore National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The game gets underway at 7pm (BST).

You can catch all of the action live on LFCTV here, or you can join us for This Is Anfield’s liveblog from Deepdale which will be available on our website shortly before kick-off.