Roy Hodgson admits he'll have to fight with his medical staff for the right to use his World Cup stars in Liverpool's opening Europa League matches starting next week.
Liverpool begin their competitive season in Macedonia on Thursday - 18 days before their first Premier League game - as they face FK Rabotnicki in the third qualifying round of Europe's second-tier competition.
Hodgson has not yet been able to work with all his players because those that played in the World Cup were granted a later summer break. Players involved in the latter stages in South Africa have not returned to training while England's Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson only got back this week and have missed pre-season camp in Switzerland.
Hodgson has been advised that those players should not be considered for the trip to Skopje but the 62-year-old - who launched Fulham's run to the final at the same stage of the competition last season - wants to find middle ground.
Hodgson told the club's website: "It's a little bit of a fight with them to some extent, in order to try and get them to free up more senior players, because their view is very clear that all of these players who are coming back to Melwood just after the World Cup shouldn't play in either of the two games. My point of view is that I want to go through in the competition and I might need some of these players, so there's a lot of compromise.
"I fully respect their opinion and in an ideal world I wouldn't even for one minute discuss it with them and I would take it at face value. If our first game was on August 15, I'd take it on face value that they don't want me to use these players in any friendly matches, and instead continue working with them and build up their level of fitness. But of course we've got official matches now and that's the difference.''
The return leg against Rabotnicki takes place the following week, on August 5. Liverpool find themselves having to qualify for the Europa League after finishing a disappointing seventh in the Premier League last season.
Hodgson will take a first look at new signing Milan Jovanovic in a friendly against German side Kaiserslautern on Saturday. The Serbia international joined the Reds for training last week following the end of his World Cup break. Greece defender Sotirios Krygiakos is also set to start.
Hodgson said: "They did take part in the World Cup and came back a little later and I think we need to be a bit more careful with them than with some of the younger players. But having said that, I think they can play and they will be happy to play. They will start the game and we'll see how long we can keep them on for.''