As Leeds United host Blackpool in the battle of two Championship underachievers tonight, are we going to see a strange situation where the first game in charge for one manager signals the last match at the helm for his opposite number?
Paul Ince takes charge of Blackpool, and his son Thomas, for the first time since taking over from Michael Appleton at Bloomfield Road on a one-year rolling contract on Monday, but as a new era begins for the Seasiders, another looks perilously close to coming to an end at Elland Road.
Neil Warnock never seemed like the best fit for Leeds United, and so it is proving. Brought in by Cuddly Ken Bates as he tried to get Leeds promoted on the cheap, it has been a year of toil for Warnock in West Yorkshire.
Although there is no shame in losing 4-0 away to Manchester City as Leeds did at the weekend in the FA Cup (plenty of Premier League sides suffer the same fate), it seemed to be the final straw for many of the travelling contingent that had made the trip over the Pennines, many of whom were calling for the former Sheffield United manager to pack his bags.
But it wasn’t that isolated result: United are in 13th position in the Championship, closer to the relegation zone than the play-off places having lost more games (13) than they have won (12), and patience is wearing thin with Warnock, who seems unable to weave any of the lower-league magic that has served him so well over his long career.
Warnock seems to know the writing is on the wall, too, admitting that failure to win promotion will see his reign end in May. I reckon he may do well to last that long with the Sword of Damocles hanging over him and the next poor result could seal his fate.
Yet Blackpool are having an even more traumatic season. Ince will be the fourth man who has picked the Seasiders’ starting 11 this term, with both Ian Holloway and his replacement Michael Appleton jumping ship to Championship rivals Crystal Palace and Blackburn Rovers respectively, which has left Steve Thompson holding the fort in the interim.
Relegation is not entirely out of the equation for Blackpool, who are two places below Leeds and just five above Wolves in the drop zone.
So Ince needs a quick start, and not just to help rehabilitate his reputation that has never recovered from a poor spell at Blackburn.
His second stint at MK Dons and his time at Notts County were nothing short of disastrous and it is a surprise to see him land such a cushy job after two years out of the game.
And to be honest, this is a tough one to call. Leeds are favourites at 7/5, with the draw at 9/4 and Blackpool a 9/5 chance, and my ever-so-slight preference would be for a home win.
All is not well at Leeds, but it has been their form on the road that has hampered any promotion push. Only Bolton have won less points away from home than Warnock’s side, but only five sides have won more points on their own patch and all five of those sides are currently in the top six.
And to be perfectly honest, I’m just not convinced that Ince is any good.
There is little in his record to suggest he can do a good job at Blackpool – he left Notts County after a club record nine league losses in a row – and with just a couple of days on the training ground, I don’t think he will be able to inspire a team that has won just two of its last 12 games in league and cup.
Leeds boast a 5-1-1 record at home to teams in the bottom half, so I think the play, albeit a not entirely convincing one, would be for the 7/5 on Warnock keeping the fans off his back for another game at least.