West Ham United co-chairman David Gold has insisted that his side will play the strongest team available against Astra tonight to ensure qualification to the group stage of the Europa League.

The Hammers, who currently have as many as eight first team players out injured, drew the first leg of the Europa League qualifier 1-1 against Astra in Romania last week.

Barring a goalless draw, West Ham need to win against the Romanian outfit at the Olympic Stadium to book their place in the group stage of the continental competition.

The likes of Andy Carroll, Dimitri Payet, Andre Ayew, Sofiane Feghouli and Aaron Cresswell will be unavailable for West Ham as the English club aim to extend their European adventure.

But Gold has declared that the Hammers, who will face Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday, will not shy away from fielding their strongest team available against Astra.


“Tonight we will play our strongest team available to ensure progression to the group stages of the Europa League”, he tweeted.

West Ham, who edged out Bournemouth 1-0 last weekend, have three points from two outings in the Premier League.