Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic drops a huge hint about his plans for Doncaster Rovers friendly

Slavisa Jokanovic could unveil another experimental line-up when Sheffield United face Doncaster Rovers in the penultimate friendly of their pre-season programme.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 3:45 pm

The Serb selected three centre-forwards for the meeting with Europa Point earlier this month, later admitting his decision was influenced by the number of strikers within his squad.

Although Jokanovic reserved the right to continue with that policy at the beginning of the new Championship campaign, he also told The Star that only by trialling different formations will he discover which one is best suited to the options he inherited from predecessor Chris Wilder on July 1.

“We had three strikers out there in that one because we have lots of them,” explained Jokanovic, whose squad is top heavy with attacking talent. “We want to get as many of them on the pitch as we can.

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“But who knows? In the next game we might play with one more defender or one less. We will just have to see.”

United’s preparations for the new campaign, which will see them attempt to regain the Premier League status they relinquished last term, have been disrupted by an outbreak of Covid-19 within the camp following their return from Spain a fortnight ago.

Jokanovic’s players were handed individually tailored fitness plans when the positive tests were discovered. But opportunities for tactical work have been limited, with tomorrow evening’s visit to the Keepmoat Stadium now even more important as a result.

“In football, you shouldn’t be asked to fly to the moon,” Jokanovic continued. “But you do need an open mind and you should have an open mind. In football, that is very important and necessary for me.”

Slavisa Jokanovic: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Although Aaron Ramsdale is unlikely to feature after representing England at the recent European Championships, Scotland’s John Fleck and Rhys Norrington-Davies of Wales could both face Rovers with the latter returning to work early in order to try and impress the new manager.

Ramsdale is expected to be the subject of an official approach from Arsenal shortly, after two offers submitted via intermediaries were rejected by United’s board of directors who value the goalkeeper at around £40m.