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West Ham to face champions in Europa League play-off

By Amir Mir

West Ham will face Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League play-off round for the second season running.

The Romanian champions knocked out the Premier League club in the competition last season in Slaven Bilic’s first few weeks in charge of the club.

Here is West Ham announcing the news on its official Twitter account.

West Ham will now travel to Romanian on August 18, with the second leg due to take place on August 25 at the club’s new London stadium.

Here are the two dates for West Ham fans to put in their diary.

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Bilic’s side comfortably beat Slovenian side NK Domzale  3-0 on Thursday evening in the club’s opening game at their new stadium.

A tricky European trip to Giurgiu awaits the Londoners’ where they were beaten 2-1 last season and there is no doubt the club will want revenge.

Bilic will have to prepare for three games in one week, with a trip to Chelsea on August 15, then Giurgiu on August 18, before facing Bournemouth at home on August 21.

This will infuriate Bilic who has to play the game against Chelsea on August 15, as it is being broadcast on live TV.

But the Croatian will be hoping to have star man Dimitri Payet back into action after the midfielder took an extended break after participating in Euro 2016.

In other West Ham team news, the media reacts on Twitter to the Hammers’ new London stadium.