Burnley were boosted this week by the return of skipper Steve Caldwell to training, but as one Claret left the tratement table, another finds himself confined to it.

Chris McCann will be out of action for at least two months with knee ligament damage, and that means Joey Gudjonsson and Kevin McDonald will scrap for his place in the team at Barnsley tonight. David Nugent is cup-tied after appearing in an earlier round of the competition for parent club Portsmouth, but Michael Duff will inch closer to a retun to the first team with another start.

Owen Coyle will be keen to progress in the competition after last year’s run, but he is unlikely to risk important first team players such as Brian Jensen, Clarke Carlisle, Graham Alexander and Robbie Blake. Steven Fletcher scored twice from the bench against Hartlepool in the last round and he may be given the chance to add to his tally with a rare start up front. Martin Paterson could be given another chance to prove himself with Nugent likely to take his place for Saturday’s trip to Tottenham, or Coyle could give a run out to Steven Thompson or Jay Rodriguez.

Fernando Guerrero is expected to make another start on the left flank as he closes in on his debut start, and Chris Eagles might be given a chance to sharpen up his fitness.

Coyle might well totally replace the back five from Saturday’s win over Sunderland, with three of his summer signings still yet to make an appearance in a league match: David Edgar, Richard Eckersley and Brian Easton. Diego Penny is expected to start in goal while Christian Kalvenes, absent from first team action since the opening day defeat at Stoke, may get a game at left back.

Barnsley have former Burnley forward Andy Gray cup tied as well as Nathan Doyle, and Daniel Bogdanovic, Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Emil Halfredsson are all likely to miss out through injury. Bogdanovic has scored all three of Barnsley’s goals in this year’s competition so far and he would be a big miss for Mark Robins’ team.

The Yorkshiremen have made a poor start to this season, lying in the relegation zone with just five points from their opening eight games. However, four of those points have come from their last two games as their form looks to turn a corner.

Barnsley have former Preston man Jon Macken in their ranks but the striker is without a goal so far this season.

An away win seems inevitable, but Barnsley had a famous cup run under previous boss Simon Davey, and they will be keen to add Burnley to their list of recent Premier League scalps. But Burnley’s second string know that this is their chance to impress manager Owen Coyle and they should be too good for a side who look likely to be relegated this season unless they improve markedly.

Prediction: Barnsley 1-3 Burnley

This article was written for FansOnline Burnley.

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