Potential West Ham United starting XI in the Europa League

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic and West Ham may have to get used to playing in the Europa League this term, but they will have to get past Astra Giurgiu first. Who should start?

It will be a selection headache for Bilic this term with potential Europa League games coming up until Christmas if they can get past Romanian side Astra Giurgiu.

But that win isn't to be taken for granted against the same side who ended their European stint last season, so can they gain revenge this time around?

With new summer signing Sofiane Feghouli, Manuel Lanzini and Aaron Cresswell injured, it's already looking as if the Hammers are running low on players. 

With Bournemouth to come on Sunday, Bilic will have to be very careful in his selection on Thursday, questions will be raised as to what to prioritise although with a defeat in their opening game against Chelsea the Hammers will need to get points on the board.

West Ham United XI v Astra Giurgiu



Both Sam Byram and new summer signing Arthur Masuaku impressed against Chelsea and with very limited options in either full back area they are the pair that will most likely start in Romania on Thursday.

However, Michail Antonio's display against Chelsea has made it evident that he isn't a right-back, which may force Bilic to dip into the market before the window closes.

Arthur Masuaku celebrates James Collins' goal against Chelsea

The pair of Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate will solidify the midfield area with protection in front of the back four. Havard Nordtveit showed promise, although the Norweigan did peter out as the game wore on which shows he still needs time to adapt to the style of English football. 

The performances of new signing Gokhan Tore and Enner Valencia would've frustrated Hammers fans on Monday evening with a lack of imagination and intent in attacking areas, but with Sunday in mind, could they get away with playing the two on Thursday? A fresh Michail Antonio in his favoured right midfield position will most likely see a new player after being tried slightly further back in the defence. 

The return of a fit and revitalised Dimitri Payet is much needed. After coming on against Chelsea, he certainly changed the game for West Ham - they seemed much more of a threat in the final 25 minutes of the game than the whole 65 minutes when he wasn't on the pitch. In addition they also looked in more control on the ball when he was introduced, with composure being shown on the ball rather than giving possession away time and time again. The Frenchman needs minutes as soon as possible so he can get back to full fitness and this could be the perfect opportunity to play their star man, especially in his preferred position in behind the striker.

West Ham United's Dimitri Payet warms up before the match

A lack of fit strikers at the club has meant Andy Carroll will lead the line. After the injuries that the forward has endured in his career so far it will be surely on Bilic's mind to get a striker in and fast to give some freshness in the area. 

It could be a dilemma that may keep popping up for the manager, with injuries or suspensions it has certainly highlighted that additions in the window is needed if they're to last in Europe this campaign.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch