The midfield, without both Weller and Chaplow, last week was something of a patched up effort with Glen Little featuring in the centre alongside Tony Grant with Luke Chadwick and Graham Branch in the wide positions.
Chappy though should be certain to return with Graham Branch the most likely to drop down to the substitutes’ bench. Despite playing in what could be called his own position last week the captain had a poor game and is currently looking a player without any sort of confidence following a number of mistakes when playing in the centre of defence.
As for Arthur, there’s no way he will get back in straight away with David May and Mark McGregor forming a partnership in the centre of defence that has conceded just one goal in three games, a rare treat for Burnley.
He could come in at left-back after another disappointing show from Mo Camara but it is more likely that he will be on the bench at kick off. If that’s the case then the return of Chaplow will probably be the only change.
And if that’s so we will line up: Brian Jensen, Lee Roche, Mark McGregor, David May, Mo Camara, Luke Chadwick, Richard Chaplow, Tony Grant, Glen Little, Robbie Blake, Ian Moore. Subs: Nathan Abbey, Dean West, Arthur Gnohere, Graham Branch, Alan Moore.
Gillingham have some problems but we should not get too excited about the fact that they will be fielding their fourth choice goalkeeper. Jason Brown is the first cholce and Vince Bartram his understudy but both are ruled out with injury whilst Nico Vaesen is on loan and Birmingham have not given permission for him to play.
So Bertrand Bossu, signed in September from Hayes, will be in goal as he was in the 3rd round win against Charlton.
But they do have other problems and in particular up front. They have sold Marlon King to Nottingham Forest and his replacement, Franchise’s Patrick Agyemang, is cup tied. Mamady Sidibe is away on African Nations Cup duty with the football power of Mali whilst Rod Wallace is ruled out with injury.
And to add to that Mark Saunders, Nicky Southall and David Perpetuini are all out injured and today former Claret Ian Cox was crossed off the list of available players with an ankle injury meaning he will have to wait another couple of weeks to make his Turf Moor return.
Some good news for the Gills is that new signing from Grimsby Alan Pouton was signed just in time, Friday of last week, to be able to play although manager Andy Hessenthaler has said he will not be fit enough to play the whole game. And to add to that Barry Ashby has been passed fit and will play instead of Coxy.
But we should not be too complacent at their loss of players, in fact we should not be complacent at all. They have more players to choose from than we do and the likelihood is that player/boss Hessenthaler will play and he does always tend to play well against the Clarets.
It is impossible to even half guess the Gillingham team but they are expected to play a defensive game with only Darius Henderson up front and that could make it very difficult for the Clarets.
They will select from the following sixteen players which includes youth team goalkeeper Danny Knowles:
Bertrand Bossu, Danny Knowles, Nyron Nosworthy, Barry Ashby, Chris Hope, John Hills, Paul Smith, Danny Spiller, Andy Hessenthaler, Alan Pouton, Matthew Jarvis, Tommy Johnson, Andrew Crofts, Darius Henderson, Leon Johnson, Kevin James.