Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he plans to rest youngsters Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen, having made the duo a regular part of his starting XI so far this season.
Liverpool suffered a surprise 3-1 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa on Saturday and the Northern Irish boss has acknowledged that fatigue may be taking its toll on the duo.
Rodgers did concede that he had only a limited number of options available to replace Sterling and Allen, however.
“There is no doubt Raheem is one who does need that breather,” he told the club’s official website.
“I’ve thought about it over the past couple of weeks. In order to do that you need to have that depth to take him out and put somebody else in.
“That’s something I’m thinking about – who to put in. He’s a naturally very, very fit boy but he needs that mental rest as well. That time will come and he will get the breather soon enough.
“Joe Allen is another one. If we’re honest, there are a few who could do with that breather, especially mentally. It’s something for sure I need to have a wee look at.”
Rodgers has no plans, however, to take Uruguay striker Luis Suarez out of his first team over the busy Christmas period.
The 25-year-old has bagged 10 goals already this season, leaving him just one short of his Premier League total for the 2011-12 campaign.
“He’s at his best when he is playing regularly,” Rodgers said of the former Ajax star.