West Ham have followed up on their promise and named a strong starting XI to face FC Astra in the Europa League tonight.
After experiencing a scare in Malta against Birkirkara in the previous tie, needing penalties to secure our route to the third qualifying round, the David Gold and Slaven Bilic both insisted a strong team would be fielded against our Romanian opponents.
And that’s what we’ve got tonight, with Dimitri Payet and Angelo Ogbonna both being handed their competitive debuts since arriving at the club this summer, and Enner Valencia returning to action after being given extended leave following his involvement in the Copa America with Ecuador.
Reece Oxford his handed a start, too, with the youngster seemingly being deployed in a central midfield role alongside Cheikhou Kouyate and Mark Noble.
Diafra Sakho and James Tomkins are both suspended, while Winston Reid is injured, so Mark Noble takes the armband tonight. Kevin Nolan has been dropped to the bench.
So here are tonight’s confirmed teams…
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) July 30, 2015
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