By Joe Ellis

5th Sep, 2022 | 4:13pm

West Ham United striker Gianluca Scamacca nearing return

West Ham United striker Gianluca Scamacca could be available to face Steaua Bucharest after a period out of the side, according to Claret and Hugh.

The Italian international has been out of action for the previous couple of games with a throat infection and a high temperature which has left him to be ruled out of games against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

But the worst of it seems to be behind Scamacca now and he could be set to play some part in the Irons’ first Europa Conference League group game against Steaua Bucharest on Thursday.

A top source at the London Stadium has told Claret and Hugh that he is likely to be in the squad against the Romanians but whether he starts after time away is yet to be seen.

David Moyes could yet rest him further to ensure he can feature in the Premier League on Sunday when West Ham host Eddie Howe’s solid Newcastle United side.

Take it easy

With six group games against not very tough opposition, there should be no reason that unnecessary risks should be taken when it comes to player fitness.

If he can manage 15 minutes towards the end of the game then maybe try it if they are far enough ahead to do so but the bigger and more important game is against the Magpies and Scamacca will be needed to make the difference.

Michail Antonio has not hit the same heights he did last season despite his scrappy goal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and he can’t do it all on his own anymore.

Thursday is a superb chance for someone like Armstrong Okoflex to prove to Moyes that he can cut the mustard at senior level after consistent top performances for the youth sides and he should not be ignored for the fancy £35million new signing who may or may not be on full form.