Considering the fact Brendan Rodgers thought Sterling tired enough (no pun intended) to warrant a winter break in Jamaica, this was a missed opportunity to give the 20-year-old even more respite.
Liverpool frustrated the Anfield faithful against Bolton Wanderers with a good performance - but more blanks in the final third. Sterling couldn't force a goal and this was the perfect opportunity to give Rickie Lambert some first-team action.
The same applies for Liverpool's Coutinho, who looks as though he could have definitely done with the rest. Passing-wise, the Brazilian is on song right now - and his exquisite vision will be paramount against Chelsea.
And yet, when it comes to his shooting, Coutinho's form is of serious worry to Rodgers. If you had to put your mortgage on anyone to score for Liverpool right now - it wouldn't be the 22-year-old would it?
Coming back from several weeks out injured, Lallana is certainly in need of game time at the moment with the Reds. But this was a physical battle with Bolton that a player not yet fully match fit could have done without.
The Liverpool midfielder ended up frustrated as he failed to penetrate the Bolton back line and the Kop will hope that doesn't affect him against Chelsea.
All three of Lallana, Sterling and Coutinho would have been better suited coming on to change the game with fresh legs against Neil Lennon's men and, hopefully, they won't have had too much energy sapped from them by the Trotters.