4 things to look out for in Liverpool's pre-season clash against SV Darmstadt 98

Liverpool have had no struggles scoring goals this pre-season but their inability to keep them out at the other end has raised concerns amongst many.

The Reds have conceded ten goals in four games during their trips to Germany and Singapore this summer, and with the return of the Premier League just over a week away, Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to fix the fragility of his backline in the Reds' meeting with SV Darmstadt on Monday.

Liverpool lock horns with the Bundesliga side at Preston North End's Deepdale Stadium in their final pre-season game before the Premier League opener against Chelsea next Sunday.

Let's take a look at four things to look out for on Monday night.

Defensive improvement

Besides any injuries, Jurgen Klopp will want a defensively sound performance above all on Monday. The defensive frailties have been a huge talking point over the summer, with no additional recruitment adding to the worries many hold.

Opponents have carved through Liverpool's backline far too easily this summer, something not often associated with Liverpool during Klopp's tenure.

The need for defensive improvement is vital on Monday as Premier League teams will have the ammunition to exploit any fragilities on display during the season.

Liverpool's clash with Darmstadt is a final dress rehearsal to get things in order before the season begins.

READ MORE: 7 big questions for Liverpool ahead of the Premier League season

Who's at six?

Liverpool duo Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago are probably at the top of the pecking order for who is most suited to play the anchor role in Klopp's team, given the departures of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.

But despite the Spaniards being set to return to team training, the match against Darmstadt will most likely be too early for them to return.

Despite ongoing links with Southampton starlet Romeo Lavia, Liverpool are yet to replace their recent outgoings.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has featured in the 'number six' role for the Reds on a couple of occasions this summer, before Curtis Jones took over for Liverpool's games against Leicester and Bayern Munich.

It is likely Jones will be chosen to play that holding midfield role once more on Monday, and, if he does, it might be a sign that he's set to start there next Sunday.

Fresh legs

It's been a hot topic over recent weeks on who will start against Chelsea on 13 August and Klopp's starting lineup against Darmstadt may provide some huge clues as to who he will select.

Liverpool's clash with Bayern Munich last Wednesday was the first time a bulk of Jurgen Klopp's first-team got more than 45 minutes of action.

The likes of Dominik Szoboszlai, Curtis Jones, Mohammed Salah and Virgil van Dijk all played over 75 minutes of football with Cody Gakpo, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold being subbed just after the hour mark.

However, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nuñez continued to play just 45 minutes.

If the same players are playing similar amounts of minutes against Darmstadt, this may be an indication on who will get the nod when Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge next Sunday.

Will Alexis Mac Allister feature?

Liverpool's first summer signing Alexis Mac Allister was substituted at half-time of the Bayern Munich game last Wednesday after a knee-on-knee collision causing the Argentine to suffer bruising.

Klopp later revealed that the midfielder told him he would've been fine to continue playing if it was a competitive game, but understandably the manager took no risk.

It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will risk Mac Allister's involvement against Darmstadt on Monday, or whether he'll be left out to rest and recuperate ahead of the competitive fixtures.

Liverpool will be glad bruising was the only outcome of the collision and that all players returned from Singapore with no real injury concerns.

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