Burnley boss Owen Coyle has to decide whether to recall Gunners slayer Kevin McDonald for the visit of Arsenal to Turf Moor tonight.

McDonald scored twice against a young Gunners side in last season’s League Cup when the two sides met as Burnley brushed aside their more illustrious opponents in a thrilling run to the semi-final, but the Scot has rarely started for the Clarets this season.

David Nugent is also pushing for a recall to the starting line-up after a sparkling second-half display in Saturday’s draw with Fulham with Robbie Blake’s place in the team perhaps more vulnerable than most.

Burnley have no new injury concerns with Chris McCann, Jay Rodriguez and Martin Paterson all closing in on a return in the New Year.

Cesc Fabregas and Andrey Arshavin have been passed fit for the visitors after worries that neither would be available. Arsenal injury list is lengthy and includes Bendtner (hernia), Clichy (back), Denilson (back), Djourou (knee), Rosicky (groin), Traore (hamstring) and Van Persie (ankle. Arsene Wenger’s lack of fit left-backs will force him to pick Mikael Silvestre and Chris Eagles will fancy his luck against his fellow former Manchester United player down the right wing.

Wenger may again deploy Arshavin in the lone frontman role that worked sporadically at Anfield in the Gunners’ 2-1 win at the weekend. Arshavin struggled to get involved in the game but still scored the wonderful winning goal, spinning and firing powerfully in off the post.

Denilson’s injury will mean Abou Diaby will come back into the side. Wenger is otherwise unlikely to change his team too much and risk a repeat of last season’s defeat at Turf Moor after Arsenal successfully got their title challenge back on track at the weekend.

Burnley will be hoping to arrest a mini-slide that has seen them fail to win any of their last five matches. With a trip to Wolves at the weekend a confidence-boosting result for the Clarets tonight would be a huge plus.

Conditions are likely to be similar to when the sides met last year. It will be bitterly cold and hopefully there will be a bit of rain or snow in the air. Arsenal traditionally don’t do well away from home in the North West and a vocal Clarets fans could roar their side on to a shock result.

But Arsenal should have too much for Burnley and could run out easy winners.

Prediction: Burnley 1-3 Arsenal.

Advertisements