The stated goal at the start of the season was a top four finish and Matt Beard's Liverpool Ladies Football Club stand an excellent chance of not just achieving that goal but exceeding it by winning the league. With five matches remaining in the WSL season, Liverpool Ladies sit three points ahead of Bristol Academy Women at the top of the table.
At the start of the season in March, few would have predicted the club would make a legitimate challenge for the league title. Liverpool Ladies had finished dead last in the eight team league for two seasons running, and although the team received major reinforcements in the form of both an influx of new talent and major support from their parent club, manager Beard's expectation was that the team would finish in the top half of the table.
Five months later, Liverpool Ladies are in consistent competition with the Bristol Academy Women for the coveted top spot, with Liverpool regaining pole position after a much needed win over Bristol a week-and-a-half ago. Arsenal Ladies and Birmingham City Ladies are five and nine points off the top respectively, despite both clubs being perennial favourites for the title year in and year out.
It hasn't all been sunshine and roses on Merseyside, of course. Like many a team making a strong run for the title, Liverpool Ladies crashed out of the League Cup at the semi-finals stage when they lost on penalties to Lincoln Ladies.
Still, the team's remaining fixtures should give them enough points to secure the top prize in the league. Two fixtures against last place Doncaster Rovers Belles, plus a visit to fourth place Birmingham and home field advantage against Everton Ladies should bring in enough positive results to see them through to the end. Failing that, though, the final match of the season against — you guessed it — Bristol Academy Women at home at Halton Stadium could provide a dramatic and nail-biting finish to the season.
BT Sport will air the Merseyside derby live on September 12 at 7:30pm GMT / 2:30pm EST.