Manchester City vs Burton Albion Preview: Youth to be given a chance as City edge closer to Wembley
 (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Manchester City are one step away from their first cup final of the season, as they prepare to take on Burton Albion in the first-leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final. 

The Blues received a favourable semi-final draw, avoiding Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, and could use the tie to give further experience to younger players. 

Guardiola boosted by returns from injury 

City boss Pep Guardiola has had a torrid time with injuries this season, although this crisis seems to be coming to an end, as the Spaniard explained in his pre-match press conference. 

“(Benjamin Mendy is) much better. He trained alone, two weeks, three weeks maybe. Everyone else is fit.”

Guardiola then went on further to talk about how he wishes to take every competition that City are involved in seriously. 

“We take the cups seriously.” Started Pep, “Versus Rotherham we played with nine players who didn’t play against Liverpool, but it was still a good selection.”

Phil Foden was excellent in City’s Emirates FA Cup victory over Rotherham United at the weekend and is expected to start again. 

Man City predicted XI: Muric; Danilo, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko; Foden, David Silva, De Bruyne; Sane, Aguero, Bernardo Silva.

Burton in fine form 

Despite being the clear underdogs going into this tie, the Burton will be boosted by their own form. 

The EFL League One side beat Rochdale United 4-0 at the weekend, much thanks to the in-form Marcus Harness, who bagged a hat-trick. 

Harness spoke about the upcoming tie vs City after the game. "It's great to go into that game with another clean sheet and a good performance. We will just go there and give it our best," Harness told the club's official website.

The forward went on further to talk about Burton’s role as underdogs. 

“Playing against the best players in the world is what you dream about as a kid and we are all buzzing as we have nothing to lose and can just go out and enjoy it."

Nigel Clough’s men are with a few injury concerns, as Stephen Quinn and John Brayford will face late fitness tests, whilst Kyle McFadzean and Marvin Sordell are sidelined. 

Burton predicted XI: Collins; Brayford, Buxton, Turner, Hutchinson; Fraser, Quinn, Allen, Myers-Harness, Akins; Boyce.

This is the first time that these two sides will meet each other, with City the clear favourites for the tie. 

Although, after shocking Middlesbrough last time out, the Brewers will be hopeful of causing yet another, even bigger, upset, should they be able to get back to Pirelli Stadium with the scoreline still intact.