Fabio Capello has promised worried Premier League bosses he will not risk their star men in England's friendly with Holland.
Steven Gerrard and Ben Foster have already pulled out, with Theo Walcott almost certain to follow them after withdrawing from training on Tuesday night without making any meaningful contribution.
Capello has also reported a slight doubt over Emile Heskey due to a long-standing Achilles complaint.
And, having pledged to make the maximum six substitutions, the Italian has attempted to reassure club bosses anxiously waiting for the curtain to go up on a new Premier League season at the weekend.
"I always try to help the managers," said Capello. "When I was a club manager, I said the same things as them. I didn't like it (an August friendly) either. That is normal.
"I didn't decide this date, FIFA did it. I have to choose the best players for the England team because I think it is very important. But I will make six substitutions because it is important to look after the players."
Capello has confirmed Gerrard's injury means Ashley Young will start for the first time after five previous substitute appearances for the Aston Villa man.
Two of those caps came during Capello's reign. The first represented just about the only negative from a marvellous night in Berlin last November, when England defeated Germany.
As the second came in a six-goal rout of Andorra in June, it is that first disappointing appearance that provides the reference point for Capello's analysis.
"Every player has a different style and Ashley Young is really important because he is one of the English players who can dribble and take people on one on one," said Capello. "He has only played twice for me. The first time it was so-so. The second he played very well.
"Now he needs the confidence to perform against one of the best national sides in the world."
Young represents the example for every young player to follow as England embark on an 11-month period they hope will end in World Cup glory.
Frank Lampard has described it as the biggest moment in so many England careers. Capello is not about to disagree. And he includes his own.
"They were very important words from one of the leaders of the team," said Capello. "And I think the other players think the same. It is really important for them, and for me. But first we have to get there. Then we will focus on the World Cup."