1. FSV Mainz 05 vs Liverpool Preview: Reds end pre-season schedule with trip down memory lane for Klopp

Liverpool play the last of their nine pre-season games on Sunday.

1. FSV Mainz 05 vs Liverpool Preview: Reds end pre-season schedule with trip down memory lane for Klopp
Klopp spent 18 years at Mainz, as player and then manager (photo: squawka)

Jürgen Klopp returns to a club very close to his heart on Sunday, as Liverpool conclude their pre-season schedule with a game against 1. FSV Mainz

A gruelling month or so of pre-season action, complete with nine friendly matches, will finally come to an end in Germany, with Liverpool now just a week away from their Premier League curtain raiser against Arsenal.

Pre-season so far...

The Reds started their schedule with four games in the North West of England, winning all four, 1-0 against Tranmere Rovers before thrashing Fleetwood Town 5-0, before comfortable 2-0 wins over both Wigan Athletic and Huddersfield Town.

A tour to the USA was next up, and whilst there were up's and down's in terms of results, defeats to Chelsea and AS Roma sandwiched by a victory over AC Milan, it was an important time for Klopp as he got all of his star players back in the fold.

They nearly saved their best for last, with Saturday's friendly against Barcelona coming less than 24 hours before the Mainz game, but more on that short-break soon. Liverpool were breathtaking, destroying Barcelona 4-0 under the Wembley Arch, sending shockwaves throughout the country ahead of the new season. They'll be hoping for a similar result, with different players, on Sunday. 

Team news

It remains to be seen who will start for Liverpool, but it's expected to be a heavily rotated side from the star-studded-XI that featured at Wembley. 

After Simon Mignolet played 90 minutes against Barca, Alex Manninger could pick up his second pre-season game in goal, whilst you wouldn't be surprised to see youngsters Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andre Wisdom come into the defence, whilst Marko Grujic could lead from centre-midfield.

Grujic celebrates scoring against Barca, he could start on Sunday (photo: Getty)
Grujic celebrates scoring against Barca, he could start on Sunday (photo: Getty)

Danny Ings has struggled for minutes against the bigger teams during pre-season so will expect a lengthy run out, whilst Alberto Moreno is another senior player expected to play.

Joel Matip was amongst the substitutes on Saturday after coming back from a knock, so could return in Germany, potentially alongside Wisdom.

Daniel Sturridge and James Milner are out with new injuries, whilst Mamadou Sakho, Joe Gomez and Loris Karius all remain sidelined. 

A closer look at Mainz, and Klopp's time with them...

A member of the Bundesliga for seven consecutive years now, Mainz had a fantastic season last time out - their best since 2010/11 - , entering the European places with a sixth placed finish, meaning they'll be no pushovers on Sunday. 

Their affinity with Liverpool boss Klopp is a huge one, even more so than Klopp's with Borussia Dortmund, who Liverpool played last season. 

Although he's admitted that he wasn't much of a player himself, Klopp did play 337 games for Mainz in an 11 year spell from 1990 until 2001, scoring 52 goals. He was a striker for five years, before slotting into central defence!

He retired in 2001 and took on the managerial reigns at the club, leading the club to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history, before leaving for Dortmund after seven years as a manager.