Jurgen Klopp’s recent comments about West Ham may not be as sincere as they seem.

There are two battles that go on in any football match, there are obviously the physical battles that happen on the pitch. However, the psychological battle is just as important. If you’re not prepared to go to war every single match, then the chances are you’re not going to emerge victorious.

Unsurprisingly, with their recent downturn in form Liverpool are in desperate need of three points against West Ham. They now sit three points of first place Arsenal with a much worse goal difference – they can not drop a single point between now and the end of the season if they are to somehow win the title.

As such, what initially seems like a complaint about their hectic schedule from manager Jurgen Klopp may actually be a tactic to get in the heads of West Ham’s players. “West Ham will be rubbing their hands together and West Ham is hoping that we come there on one leg. You can imagine that it will now be a challenge, mentally and physically,” he stated after his side’s 2-0 defeat to Everton.

Obviously he isn’t completely unfounded in what he is saying, West Ham haven’t played since Sunday and, as always, Klopp is furious about being given the 12:30 kick off. At the same time though, this is what being a top professional team consists of.

Knowing Klopp, there certainly is a lot of genuine anger behind the schedule, but it would be naive not to acknowledge that there could be some sort of mind games going on.