England are currently sitting top of Group B of the quadrennial tournament with four points from two matches with a goal difference of +4.
The Three Lions opened their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign with a commanding 6-2 victory over Iran on Monday (November 21). They then registered a goalless draw against USA on Friday.
Gareth Southgate's side need to avoid a four-goal loss at the hands of the Robert Page-coached outfit to seal their place in the knockout stages.
Speaking on talkSPORT (via Metro), Pearce urged Southgate to rest Declan Rice, Luke Shaw and Harry Kane against Wales. He said:
"There's a couple I'd like to not see play [against Wales]. That would be my starting point because I cannot afford for them to be injured for the knockout stages. Declan Rice number one, Luke Shaw number two because he gives us natural balance on the left-hand side and he we have no natural left-foot replacement there."
Adding Kane to his list, Pearce continued:
"There's two individuals that I'm thinking to myself that there's no chance I'm playing them. I've got to keep them safe. Kane might be another one that falls into those. I don't think it'd be bad to see someone who offers a run in behind as a change."
Pearce asserted that Callum Wilson and Marcus Rashford could offer a potential solution in Kane's absence from the starting lineup. He said:
"Maybe Callum Wilson or someone of that ilk, like Rashford if he wants to play himself down the middle to offer us some energy up front. There's three I'd make sure I wouldn't start in any way shape or form."
Kieran Trippier is said to be an emergency backup to Shaw, with Trent Alexander-Arnold or Kyle Walker expected to slot in at right-back in his place.
On the other hand, Jordan Henderson or Kalvin Phillips could potentially replace Rice in England's midfield at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Brad Friedel defends England midfielder amid criticism at 2022 FIFA World Cup
USA legend Brad Friedel claimed England midfielder Mason Mount is being unjustly targeted for his performance in his team's draw against the USA. Speaking to Online Casino (via Metro), he said:
"I think criticism of Mount after one match is unfair. Everyone can have a bad performance and he's been made a scapegoat a bit which isn't right. Going individually into one man's display isn't right."
"Looking into Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah would be a better idea as they were fantastic and they deserve more praise. If Mount continues to have underwhelming performances then criticism is warranted but you can't pick him out individually for one poor game. Mount came up against players who are really physical."
So far, Mount has featured in 161 minutes of action for England at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to conclude on December 18.