SEAN Dyche is hopeful he will avoid a defensive headache for the trip to Stoke City this weekend after James Tarkowski picked up a knock in the defeat to Chelsea.

With Ben Mee absent with a shin injury still the Clarets are down to the bare bones at the back with Tarkowski and Kevin Long.

Dyche is hopeful Tarkowski will be fit for the Sunday fixture at the Bet365 Stadium, but he could be forced to call on Charlie Taylor if not, with the left-back having filled in at centre back during pre-season.

"It’s settled down overnight. I’m think he’s going to make it," Dyche said of Tarkowski.

"We’ve been carrying the three main centre halves all season and we've done well with that.

"It’s the complexities of it, we’re not in a position to buy a player for sake of it to fill a hole. That player might be £10m."

Mee has missed the last three games with his shin problem and Dyche said he 'probably won't' be fit for the clash with the relegation threatened Potters, while Scott Arfield definitely remains out with a calf injury.