Liverpool enter Sunday’s WSL fixture at Prenton Park with a great opportunity to leapfrog rivals Manchester United and narrow the gap to the Champions League places. 

The Reds host bottom of the table Bristol City and will be strong favourites to make it four league wins from five at home. They currently sit fifth in the table and could end the weekend in a European spot if other results go their way.  

It has been an encouraging start to the season for Matt Beard, who will be hoping his side match the four goals they put past Brighton & Hove Albion in their previous league fixture.

Gemma Bonner celebrated becoming Liverpool Women’s record appearance maker with the opener against the Seagulls, but it is the progress of some the team’s newer faces that will give Beard great cause for optimism.  

Defenders Grace Fisk and Jenna Clark have been ever-present since joining in the summer, adding steel to a backline that has conceded just nine goals in eight games, a record bettered only by WSL giants Chelsea and Arsenal. 

Further up the pitch, Austria’s Marie Höbinger has quickly become one of the team’s key players. She has provided a much-needed goalscoring thrust from midfield and enters Sunday’s fixture as her side’s top scorer in the league.

The 22-year-old announced herself with a stunning curled finish against Aston Villa in October and will be expected to pull the strings against a struggling Bristol City. 

Promising early displays from Sophie Román Haug have cushioned the blow inflicted by the departure of last season’s top scorer Katie Stengel. The Norwegian forward has contributed two goals and two assists in six league appearances and will be hotly anticipating an afternoon against the WSL’s most porous defence.  

Anything less than victory would be a major disappointment for Liverpool, with their opponents having won just one of their previous 15 top-flight games away from home. Last season’s Championship winners have avoided defeat just twice all season, beating fellow strugglers West Ham and gaining a creditable draw with Everton on their last visit to the North West. 

The home side will have to guard against complacency if they are to seal a win on Sunday, and could find themselves in a Champions League qualifying spot if gifted favourable results by both Manchester clubs. 

The temptation to look ahead to the final two fixtures of the year could be fatal for the Reds, who will need to put in a professional display this weekend before consecutive games against bitter rivals Everton and Manchester United. 

Follow MerseySport Live on socials for coverage of Liverpool vs. Bristol City in the WSL this Sunday 10th December. Kick off 2pm.