Tonight’s clash between Sheffield United and Millwall sees Gary Rowett and Slavisa Jokanovic go head to head once more in the Sky Bet Championship.
Over the course of a manager’s career, especially in the modern day, it can be rare that two coaches come across each other so much over time. But when it comes to Rowett and Jokanovic, it’s safe to say they are familiar foes.
According to Transfermarkt, tonight’s meeting will be the tenth time that Jokanovic and Rowett have come head to head. Unsurprisingly, Championship and managerial veterans Neil Warnock, Mick McCarthy, and Steve Bruce are the next on the list.
But where does Jokanovic stack up against Rowett? Well, to say the Blades boss has enjoyed such success with Fulham and Watford, it is indeed the current Millwall manager who holds the upper hand.
Settling the Score
Tonight’s meeting between the pair will be, as mentioned, the tenth time Jokanovic and Rowett will clash on the touchline. For both, it’s also the third different club they’ll have been in charge of each.
Rowett met the Blades boss four times while manager of Birmingham. Jokanovic split his time between Watford and Fulham in that initial quartet of results. Out of the four, the Serbian won just once. A 1-0 victory while in charge of Watford in 2015.
In fact, Jokanovic had a bit of nightmare against Rowett in their first six meetings, with that 1-0 being the only one. However, in more recent times, it is the new United manager who has the upper hand.
When it Matters
Jokanovic’s Fulham side saw off Rowett’s Derby in the 17/18 season. They drew 1-1 at Craven Cottage, before winning 2-1 at Pride Park. Crucially, when it mattered, Jokanovic led Fulham to a play-off semi-final win over Rowett’s Rams, winning 2-0 in the second leg.
Overall, it’s Rowett 4-3 Jokanovic as things stand. With two draws in the middle. Tonight, then, gives the United manager a chance to level things up.
If anything, this record suggests a clash of styles and tight games. In fact, barring the 2-0 play-off win and a 4-2 Derby win in April 2017, there’s been a single goal between the sides.
Don’t be surprised, then, to see a similarly tight affair between two mid-table teams at Bramall Lane tonight.