Kop legend Ian Rush has called on England and Spain not to take any unnecessary risks over the fitness of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.
The Liverpool duo sustained knocks representing their respective countries over the weekend, but have remained with their national squads to prepare for another round of World Cup qualifying fixtures on Wednesday evening.
However, with England and Spain both already assured of their place at the 2010 finals in South Africa, Rush is hoping the Anfield pair are allowed to rest ahead of the Reds' trip to Sunderland.
"You would hope that Fabio Capello and Vicente Del Bosque - both of whom have been club managers - will exercise some common sense," said the legendary No.9.
"England and Spain are both assured of their place in South Africa and their games against Belarus and Bosnia have nothing riding on them, so why would they risk two star men?
"There is a chance, after all, of it being counterproductive.
"Capello and Del Bosque will want Gerrard and Torres fit to fire their World Cup bids and they won't want them exhausted by the time or out of condition before the tournament starts.
"So, all being well, they will give Liverpool's star men a chance to draw breath tomorrow and allow them to be in top form for the trip to the Stadium of Light, where a confident Sunderland side will be waiting.
"It's a game that Liverpool must win, to get a massive week off on the right note.
"Big characters will be needed to turn the situation around and who are bigger than Gerrard and Torres?"
England will play host to Belarus at Wembley on Wednesday, while Spain take on Bosnia.