Portsmouth midfielder Gary O’Neil, who was carried off on a stretcher against Fulham last Saturday, missed his first Premiership match of the season after failing a fitness test on his damaged thigh.
But the biggest surprise in the Pompey line-up at home to Watford was the absence of Matthew Taylor who did not even make the 16-man squad. David Thompson and Niko Kranjcar were the replacements in an otherwise unchanged side.
Watford also made two changes from last weekend’s 4-0 defeat at Chelsea. Malky Mackay and Matthew Spring came in for Danny Shittu and Damien Francis as they looked for their first away win of the campaign.