Burnley will have to make do without defender Stephen Ward and strikers Jon Walters and Chris Wood for the visit of Manchester United on Saturday (20 January) but Scott Arfield may return for the Clarets as they look to end a run of seven matches without a win against Jose Mourinho's side.

Wood has not played since suffering a leg injury during his side's 3-0 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur late last month, while Ward has not featured for nearly five weeks due to a troublesome knee problem.

Dyche confirmed that the pair were making good progress in their respective recoveries but will not be able to face United, who needed a late Jesse Lingard strike to earn them a point against Burnley at Old Trafford on Boxing day. But the former Charlton Athletic boss confirmed that Walters, a reported target for Sunderland, will miss the next two months after undergoing surgery to clear up a minor knee cartilage problem.

There was good news on the injury front for the Lancashire outfit - Dyche revealed that Arfield has "every chance" of featuring against United, while left-back Charlie Taylor is expected to be fit after suffering a slight rib injury.

"Jon Walters has had a minor tidy up in his knee. It was annoying him," Dyche said in his press conference ahead of his side's meeting with United, per the Lancashire Telegraph. "Scott Arfield has every chance. Charlie Taylor has a knock to his ribs but we think he's ok. Wardy and Woody are making good progress but not for this weekend."

"It was a very minor split in his (Walters) knee cartilage. It was minor but it needed doing. Usually it's six to eight weeks out. It's unlikely he's going to go anywhere."

Dyche's immediate focus rests on getting Burnley out of a slump which has seen them fail to win any of their last seven matches, but the 46-year-old - who denied suggestions from a former teammate that he used to regularly eat worms - also has one eye on strengthening his squad and sustaining an unlikely push for European football.

Asked if Burnley supporters could expect to see fresh faces arrive at Turf Moor before the end of the month, Dyche said: "There's certain things going on but it's difficult to say they're any closer. We'll wait and see."

Chris Wood and Lewis Dunk
Wood has not scored for the Clarets since November Getty Images