Scotland have opted for experience over youth for their upcoming qualifiers against Netherlands and Iceland, recalling Derby's Gary Teale but declining to gamble on young Rangers striker John Fleck.
Teale, 30, has not featured for his country since Burley's first game in charge a year ago, but has been named in a 26-man squad which includes fit-again Tottenham full-back Alan Hutton, who has not played a first-team game since Scotland's friendly against Argentina in November.
Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon is also included, despite having played only one game for his club since November.
An ankle injury cost Gordon his first-team place and he has yet to reclaim it from Marton Fulop, prompting Burley to consider installing Rangers' Allan McGregor as the national side's No1.
Burley gave serious consideration to calling up 17-year-old Fleck, the revelation of the season in Scotland, but opted instead to include the forward in the U-21s.
"It's progression," said Burley. "At 17, to get into the U-21 squad is tremendous. His time will come."
The clamour for Fleck to be thrown into the fray against the Dutch reflects the fact that Scotland are less well-equipped in attack than in other areas and Burley will miss the creative influence of Birmingham's James McFadden and Celtic's Shaun Maloney, both ruled out by injury, as is Aberdeen forward Lee Miller.
There are no experiments. We have two very important World Cup games and it's a settled squad.
The manager can however console himself with the knowledge that, for the first time since he took over from Alex McLeish, he should be able to align a first-choice midfield, with Celtic's Scott Brown, Rangers' Barry Ferguson and Manchester United's Darren Fletcher all available.
Netherlands are strong favourites to clinch the automatic qualifying spot from Group 9 after wins in their first three matches enabled them to open up a five-point lead at the top of the section.
Scotland are second with four points from three matches but all the other teams in the group, Iceland, Macedonia and Norway, remain well-placed to battle for second spot and a play-off place.
Burley said the double-header would have a significant impact on Scotland's chances of reaching South Africa. "There are no experiments. We have two very important World Cup games and it's a settled squad. The only new addition is Gary Teale. He has been in excellent form with Derby County this season and he has pushed his way back into the squad. He gives us pace, which we have maybe been lacking, and he is a natural wide player."
Burley is also hoping Hutton will be fit enough to take part in both games. The Tottenham full-back has been sidelined with a stress fracture of his foot but is set to make his comeback in a match for Spurs reserves on Monday.
If he comes through that game unscathed, Hutton will make the trip to Amsterdam. "We will keep our fingers crossed the game goes well and then he will join us," Burley said.