West Ham look set to mix their big-name summer signings into a Europa League matchday squad for the first time.

In previous rounds, Dimitri Payet and Angelo Ogbonna were left out in favour of second stringers.

But after the club only scraped through on penalties against Maltese minnows Birkirkara, manager Slaven Bilic looks less likely to leave anything to chance against Romanians Astra Giurgiu.

Boss Bilic suggested Payet may start and praised the mercurial skill of the French attacker.

“He was my number one target,” Bilic said. “He is going to make every player better than they actually are. He’s got everything.”

Defender James Collins added: “He’s a special player. I played with him (in the friendly) at Southend and he was a million miles the best player on the pitch.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how he gets on in the Premier League and Europa League.”

Bilic has spent around £24million on his seven summer signings and revealed he is eyeing “one or two” more.

He added: “You have to be clever [in the transfer market] of course, but even Einstein would have to spend money.”

And he admits he will have to spend again without knowing whether West Ham have made the Europa League group stages or not.

He said: “That is very tricky because you can’t wait that long. So we will have to risk one way or another.”

Meanwhile, Collins has said West Ham need to get “streetwise” in the Europa League.

The centre back has told his teammates they need to learn quickly how to cope with the tactics being used by their rivals in the competition.

Diafra Sakho and James Tomkins have seen red in the Hammers’ two away legs at Lusitans and Birkirkara after being suckered into violent reactions by their opponents.

Collins told the Daily Mirror : “These teams are looking at this as a cup final so will try anything they can to beat us.

“We have to be streetwise, deal with that and let our football do the talking. Some of the stuff that was going on the pitch was unbelievable.

“They spoke about doing it before the game and from minute one they have tried everything they could to get under our skin.”

While Sakho and Tomkins are both banned for the third qualifying round tie against FC Astra, Collins added: “It’s niggly and verbal but it’s quite enjoyable.

“You don’t see it week-in, week out in the Premier League so it’s a good eye-opener.

“I had that a lot when I was growing up and it made me a stronger player so for some of the younger lads that are going to get a chance it is going to be a great experience.”

FC Astra scraped through 1-0 on aggregate against Scottish Premier League outfit Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the last round.

The side are expected not to have any fresh injury concerns, with influential captain Constantin Budescu looking likely to lead the line.

West Ham expected team vs Astra Giurgiu:

Adrian; Burke, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Oxford, Kouyate; Valencia, Payet; Zarate.