Brian Laws has said he may name the same starting eleven for Burnley’s do-or-die trip to Hull City, despite fining Kevin McDonald during the week for being an “idiot”.

McDonald reportedly left Turf Moor at half-time in Burnley’s 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City last weekend to go to the pub with friends of the family.

The Scottish midfielder’s indiscretion has been dealt with, however, and he will be in the squad for the crucial match.

Unlike Burnley, Hull sacked their manager in an attempt to avoid the drop, with Iain Dowie replacing Phil Brown in the hot seat.

Dowie has already matched Brian Laws’ number of wins in charge, although he still has to overhaul West Ham in order to keep his side up.

Many Clarets have already accepted relegation but a win on Humberside would open up the fight at the bottom of the table.

However, with only one league win since October and just one point collected on the road all season, beating Hull is a massive challenge for the Clarets to take on.

Burnley’s skipper Steven Caldwell has recovered from a groin injury and is line to make his first appearance for the club in 2010. If Laws does choose to stick with the team that was thrashed by City, Caldwell must be wondering what he has to do to get back in the side.

Stephen Jordan is a continued absentee, but other than Chris McCann, who does not look likely to play again this season, Burnley have a full squad of players to choose from.

However, after another outburst against Laws in a newspaper in his homeland, Joey Gudjonsson is sure to be ignored with Andre Bikey, another Claret with reported issues with the manager, also almost certain to not be in the side.

Dowie rates George Boateng’s chances of being fit to play at 45 per cent, while Stephen Hunt will also miss out.

However, strong centre-back Ibrahima Sonko returns to the squad, though Ricardo Gardner isn’t available.

The Tigers also have a trio of players out with knee injuries, with Ian Ashbee, Amr Zaki and Kamil Zayatte all out for the game.

While Burnley are all but certain to join Portsmouth in the Championship next season, Hull will give themselves an excellent chance of survival with a win over Brian Laws’ team.

Dowie will be hoping to instill a typical fighting spirit in his men, while Burnley fans will just be hoping they do not go down with a whimper after such a promising start to their first Premier League season.

With Burnley chairman Barry Kilby due to return from holiday this week, Laws will know a positive result could strengthen his case to remain manager at Turf Moor, despite the media vultures gathering this week to suggest his removal is impending.

With the rumours of player revolt and another upcoming managerial change at Burnley, the scene could be set for an unlikely away win at the KC Stadium.

However, given how awful Burnley are playing at the moment, and adding in how improved Hull have looked since Dowie’s scrapping mentality was injected, a home win looks inevitable.

Prediction: Hull City 2-1 Burnley.

Advertisements