Manchester City head into Wednesday's EFL Cup semi-final with Burton Albion having recorded a 7-0 triumph over Championship outfit Rotherham United in the FA Cup.
Pep Guardiola would have feared that City's campaign was beginning to unravel after defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City, but the North-West giants have hit back with three successive wins in all competitions.
Victories over Southampton and Rotherham United were expected, but the hard-fought 2-1 success over Premier League rivals Liverpool can act as the catalyst for an improved second half of the season.
City are known for outclassing the majority of their opponents, but they showcased a different side of their game to reduce the gap on the leaders to just four points.
The switch in focus to the FA Cup and EFL Cup has come at the right time with Guardiola and his squad able to regroup ahead of the meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers next Monday, while City are also moving closer to having a fully-fit squad again.
There are still some concerns over Kevin De Bruyne, but the Belgian came through 67 minutes against Rotherham and appears to regaining his match sharpness after two spells out with a knee problem.
The EFL Cup will feature last on Guardiola's list of priorities, but there will also be a desire to successfully defend the trophy that they lifted last February.
Oxford United, Fulham and Leicester have already been defeated, and it would take one of the biggest shocks in the history of English football for City to be denied a showdown with either Tottenham Hotspur or Chelsea in the final.
Recent form (all competitions): DLLWWW
Burton have not enjoyed the season which they would have hoped for after relegation from the Championship, but a fairytale run through to the last four of a domestic cup competition has lifted the mood at the Pirelli Stadium.
The Brewers endured a poor start to life in League One with four defeats coming from their opening five outings, and it left long-serving Clough fighting to keep his job at a club he rejoined in 2015.
However, Burton have been excellent in the EFL Cup, with the run starting with victory at Shrewsbury Town and continuing into the semi-finals with a narrow triumph away at Middlesbrough.
The standout wins came either side of those matches, with Aston Villa, Burnley and rivals Nottingham Forest all being defeated at their home ground.
The draws have been relatively kind to Clough and his players, but that should take nothing away from the performances which have provided Burton with the chance to test themselves against City.
Burton famously held Manchester United to a goalless draw in the FA Cup back in 2006, and the third-tier outfit may have preferred to play the first leg in front of their own supporters rather than making the trip to the Etihad.
Clough will be delighted with his side's form and preparations ahead of the contest, with eight points coming from their last four outings in League One.
A 4-0 win was recorded in the North-West against Rochdale at the weekend, but Clough would be left more than satisfied if his side can find a way to remain within one goal of City heading into the reverse fixture in two weeks.
Recent form (all competitions): WLWDDW
De Bruyne could be provided with another chance in the starting lineup after being replaced midway through the second half against Rotherham.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Muric; Danilo, Kompany, Laporte, Delph; Fernandinho, De Bruyne; Bernardo Silva, Foden, Mahrez; Aguero
Burton Albion possible starting lineup:
Collins; Brayford, Buxton, Turner, Hutchinson; Fraser, Quinn, Allen, Myers-Harness, Akins; Boyce
Head To Head
Wednesday's game will represent the first-ever competitive clash between the two clubs.
We say: Manchester City 5-0 Burton Albion
Man City will be looking to put the tie out of Burton's reach ahead of the second leg, and it would come as a surprise if Guardiola's team do not run riot against the Staffordshire outfit. Burton have enjoyed a memorable run to this stage, but this should prove to be a game too far.