Arsenal v Burnley: Walcott set to return against bottom side

Theo Walcott is expected to make his first-team return after 10 months out of action when Arsenal host Premier League basement boys Burnley.

The 25-year-old has been absent since rupturing anterior cruciate ligaments in a 2-0 FA Cup win over London rivals Tottenham back in January.

Having resumed full training at the start of October, he has since played 45 minutes for Arsenal's Under-21 side and was an unused substitute for last weekend's 2-0 win at Sunderland in the Premier League.

Walcott's anticipated return on Saturday is set to supplement a forward line that has had even more pace injected into it this term in the form of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez.

Chile star Sanchez has had a hand in each of Arsenal's last four goals, scoring both at the Stadium of Light having hit the opener and assisted Welbeck's late equaliser in the previous weekend's 2-2 draw at home to Hull City.

Wenger is excited at having so many quick players at his disposal, though he conceded that the Hull result has left him desperate to atone against Burnley, which means Walcott is likely to be restricted to a role from off the bench.

He explained after the Wearside win: "Could the attacking pace frighten defences? Let's see.

"My imagination works like yours, but I have to prove that they can work together on the pitch and that's what I'll try to do when everybody's back.

"We dropped points at home unexpectedly against Hull and that's why we have to focus on winning the Burnley game before I can plan giving Theo some competition."

Sean Dyche will celebrate two years at the Burnley helm by making a trip to one of the top-flight's powerhouses, something few would have banked on the Lancastrians doing so soon after the former Watford boss replaced Eddie Howe.

Having steered Burnley to second place in the Championship in his first full season in charge, Dyche has struggled to inspire his side so far this season.

Sitting bottom as they head to Emirates Stadium, Burnley are the solitary winless side in the top five divisions and only Aston Villa have scored fewer than their five goals in the Premier League.

Last season's leading scorer Danny Ings registered his first top-flight goal in last weekend's 3-1 defeat to Everton, though, and Dyche is determined to remain positive.

"It dents you but it doesn't break you," he said of Burnley's poor start, which has seen them take four points from nine games.

"It can be a reality, whether it hurts or not is irrelevant.

"It gives you the added motivation to get wins. It's important we focus on what we're about.

"We get the players prepared to go and achieve things."

Burnley have received a boost to their midfield options ahead of the game with Dean Marney recovering from a hamstring injury.