It’s a quirk of football’s simultaneous globalisation and commercialisation that Nigeria are hosting Serbia at The Hive, home of League Two strugglers Barnet. Arguably it makes sense for Nigeria’s mostly European-based squad to congregate at a London venue that’s renowned for its high quality facilities. It’s surely less fun for striker Odion Ighalo, whose travels from China to Poland to London and back again will at least add handsomely to his air miles.
The turnout looks pitiful ahead of kick-off as Serbia’s players pepper shots towards The Hive’s South Terrace, although the two dozen or so early arrivals can at least boast of an unlikely experience. How often in life will you almost be decapitated by a wayward Nemenja Matić shot?
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