By Tony Hughes
Dimitri Payet has once again been omitted from the West Ham squad as they prepare to overcome minnows Astra Giurgiu to reach the Europa League group stages.
The Hammers star man has been overlooked for the play-off second leg clash at the London Stadium on Thursday night as he works his way back to fitness following his Euro 2016 exertions.
West Ham drew the first leg 1-1 in Romania last Thursday and will progress to the group stages if they overcome the visitors in the home leg.
BREAKING: Here is tonight’s West Ham United starting XI! ⚒ pic.twitter.com/E7Lg7HsWBD
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) August 25, 2016
Payet has made only one substitute appearance for West Ham in their five competitive matches of this season, although Bilic said on Wednesday he was close to fitness and was in line to start against Astra as well as Manchester City in Sunday’s Premier League clash.
A win against Romanian side Astra Giurgiu will extend Slaven Bilic’s side’s season by at least six games.