Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp will plunge new signing Lauren straight into Premiership action for his first game in a year against relegation-haunted Charlton today, the ex-Arsenal man replacing suspended captain Gary O’Neil in midfield.
Pompey are captained by Sol Campbell for the first time, but all eyes were on the first meeting between Pedro Mendes and Ben Thatcher after the former Manchester City defender was banned for eight matches for his elbow attack on the Portuguese star in August.
Charlton, with 15 games to save themselves from the drop and already onto their third manager of the season with Alan Pardew, welcomed back defender Osei Sankofa after a ban at the expense of one-time Pompey target Souleymane Diawara.
Bryan Hughes and Jerome Thomas start in midfield but Andy Reid is ruled out.
James, Johnson, Primus, Campbell, Traore, Lauren, Davis, Pedro Mendes, Taylor, Kanu, Cole.
Ashdown, Thompson, Hughes, Mwaruwari, Douala.
Carson, Sankofa, El Karkouri, Hreidarsson, Thatcher, Rommedahl, Faye, Holland, Hughes, Thomas, Marcus Bent.
Myhre, Kishishev, Ambrose, Hasselbaink, Diawara.