Reason Liverpool are playing final home pre-season friendly away from Anfield

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Liverpool will face SV Darmstadt in their final pre-season match (Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Liverpool will face SV Darmstadt in their final pre-season match (Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool are set to play their final pre-season friendly match this evening before the new Premier League campaign gets underway - but the game is not being played at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's side are due to take on Bundesliga outfit SV Darmstadt at Preston North End's Deepdale instead of Anfield. The reason behind the game taking place at a neutral venue is due to redevelopment work at Anfield ahead of the new season.

The Anfield Road stand is currently being expanded, with the £80m redevelopment set to increase the stadium's capacity from 53,394 to 61,276. It had been hoped the stand would be ready to open for Liverpool's first home game against Bournemouth on August 19, but the Liverpool Echo revealed last month the club have been forced to delay the opening.

The report states that the stand will not be 'fully operational before October', meaning Liverpool will start the season with a reduced capacity at Anfield. The club now intends to open the stand in stages as they continue adding seats.

As a result, it is stated that there will be 'a reduced capacity of around 51,000 for at least the home games against Bournemouth and Aston Villa'. Liverpool's managing director Andy Hughes said: "This has been a hugely ambitious and complex construction project right from the start and I would like to thank everyone who has played a part.

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"Unfortunately, the upper tier of the Anfield Road Stand is not quite ready for the Bournemouth game. The main contractor, Buckingham will therefore work with Liverpool City Council’s licensing team to deliver a phased opening process.

"As with any complex major construction project of this scale, there are always so many variables and challenges along the way.

Reason Liverpool are playing final home pre-season friendly away from AnfieldThe game will not be played at Anfield due to redevelopment work (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

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"We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding while we work through the next few weeks with Buckingham to complete this programme and we can’t wait to have this great new Anfield Road stand fully open for supporters."

Liverpool will have a much changed midfield this season following a major overhaul in the transfer market. James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all departed on free transfers, while Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have both made lucrative moves to Saudi Arabia.

Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have joined from Brighton and RB Leipzig respectively, but Klopp is keen to add more depth to his squad and the likes of Romeo Lavia, Kalvin Phillips and Ryan Gravenberch have all been linked with moves to Liverpool this summer.

Matthew Cooper

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