Sunday, 8 December 2019

TLFG: 9-15 December 2019

Greetings one and all and welcome to this week's TLFG.

After last week's doom and gloom I'm feeling far more positive, something helped in part by QPR finally winning a game.

Preston, one of the R's biggest bogey teams, were beaten relatively comfortably in W12 by all accounts so hopefully we'll kick on and have another good run.

Who knows what we can achieve? Given we hadn't won for eight games, it's bonkers to think that yesterday's win has put us just four points off a play-off spot but that's the crazy world of the Championship for you!

My other club Harrow Borough had a really bad week, conceding a combined total of 12 goals in their home games against Brentford B and Tiverton Town - manager Steve Baker must surely be on borrowed time as the wins have completely dried up.

As mentioned last week, looking ahead to the end of May, fans of Conifa football will be pleased to know the Surrey international side will be hosting the four-team Southern Frontier Cup at Whyteleafe's ground.

North American side Cascadia, Yorkshire and now Parishes of Jersey have all confirmed that they will take part  - tickets are on sale now for what should be an entertaining weekend.

Talking of big football tournaments, the draw for Euro 2020 took place recently and several games will be played in London in June and July. The ticket ballot is open until 18 December so don't miss out if you want to get some.

Lastly, many thanks to long-time reader Alex O from the Netherlands who donated to the TLFG's coffee-drinking fund this week - many, many thanks.

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include games in the Champions League, Premier League, EFL, FA Trophy, Women's League Cup and loads of other matches in our local non-league competitions. 

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or the venue or kick-off time has changed - this is highly possible for some of the lower non-league clubs. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found on the following match maps. If you've never used them before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the drop down menu at the top of the map page to make sure you get all the information. Games are listed from top to bottom in date order so Monday's games (yellow pin) will appear first and Sunday's (orange pin) last. Games are also ranked in terms of status so the higher the division, the higher up the list they will appear on each day.
Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - blue pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, what are in my opinion the most notable games of the week and give some brief reasons for my choice. Check the maps above for kick-off times, ticket info and directions.

Monday 9 December

Premier League
West Ham United v Arsenal @8pm - the week gets off to a lively start with this big London derby in the Olympic Park. Both sides are drifting and in dire need of a win - Arsenal sacked their manager last week and the Hammers could well get rid of theirs with another defeat here. The Gunners' overall record against West Ham is very good indeed but they've often struggled at the London Stadium so this is pretty hard to call. Given the sides' woeful form, tickets are still available to non-members

Professional Development League
With it being a Monday, there are a couple of U23 games taking place at 1pm. The best option is Millwall v Ipswich as it's being played at The Den but Charlton are also taking on Coventry at Dartford's ground. As always, check all details before you travel

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Tuesday 10 December

Champions League
Chelsea v Lille @8pm - many people were singing Frank Lampard's praises recently and rightly so as the Blues were doing well. However, three defeats in their last five Premier League games, including losses to woefully out of form sides like Everton and West Ham might be changing people's minds. A couple of draws in their last two Champions League games have also made the concluding part of the group stage more challenging than it should have been. They come into this final game third in the group knowing really only a win will do to be sure of progress. Fortunately, French club Lille have been the whipping boys up until this point, are already out and should be beaten here. Tickets are not available to non-members

Championship
Charlton Athletic v Huddersfield Town @745pm - tickets shouldn't be an issue at The Valley where two of the division's most out of form teams go head-to-head for a badly needed win. The Addicks started the season superbly but with only one point from their last six games, they've fallen down to 17th. Huddersfield came down from the Premier League at the end of last season and have really struggled to get to grips with the second tier. They sacked their manager and brought in the highly rated Cowley brothers from Lincoln who started well but it's all gone downhill again and they're now perched just above the relegation zone

National League South
Wealdstone v Eastbourne Borough @745pm - the Stones were way out in front a few weeks ago but a run of indifferent form has seen their lead at the top cut to four points by an impressive Slough side. They do have a game in hand over their nearest challengers so a win here against a struggling Eastbourne side will restore their advantage to seven points

London Senior Cup Second Round
Cray Valley PM v AFC Wimbledon @745pm - CVPM have had a great year, winning the SCEFL and making it to the FA Vase final last season and now challenging strongly for the Isthmian League South East title following promotion. On Tuesday they take on what is likely to be a Dons development side in a competition they've also excelled in since 2017

Southern Combination Cup Second Round
Walton & Hersham v Walton Casuals @745pm - down in Surrey we've got a Walton derby to look forward to. The clubs share a new state of the art ground but it's the visitors who will start as favourites as they play three levels above their 'hosts'

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Wednesday 11 December

Championship

Brentford v Cardiff City @745pm - after a superb run which lifted them into play-off contention, the Bees have now lost two of their last three to slip back a little. Cardiff, under new manager Neil Harris, moved above them into the top eight on Saturday with a 3-2 win over Barnsley. The former Millwall boss has done well since replacing Neil Warnock and is yet to lose a game so this should be another challenging game for Brentford. A little surprisingly, tickets are on sale to non-members

FA Women's League Cup
Chelsea v Reading @7pm - there are a number of group games around London in this competition on Wednesday night but this appears to be the only all Super League one. Like the men's equivalent, the big teams tend to rest a few players for these early matches. Nonetheless, these two are the top two in Group D (a six-team group) so it should go a long way to deciding who wins it

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Thursday 12 December

Women's Isthmian League Cup Quarter-Final

In the absence of anything else in the capital on Thursday why not try out a women's game at a lower level? Ashford Town host Enfield Town whilst Phoenix Sports take on Leyton Orient - both at 745pm

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Friday 13 December

Championship
Charlton Athletic v Hull City @745pm - the Addicks have been picked for live TV broadcast by Sky again as they play another game shortly after Tuesday's match against Huddersfield. The Tigers are another Championship side in pretty iffy form but nowhere near as bad as Charlton's so this could be tough again. Tickets are available to non-members

FA Youth Cup Third Round
West Ham United v Charlton Athletic @7pm - if you'd prefer a more cut-price option then head to Dagenham & Redbridge's ground where the Hammers have drawn Charlton's youngsters in this prestigious competition for U18 sides - tickets are usually no more than £5, payable on the gate

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Saturday 7 December

Premier League
Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth @3pm - the only top-flight game taking place in London on Saturday is to be found at Stamford Bridge. On paper you'd expect a home win but the Cherries have been a bit of a thorn in Chelsea's side since joining the Premier League in 2015 and have won two of their four league games in SW6. They also crushed Chelsea 4-0 when they last hosted them back in January. Tickets are not available to non-members

Championship
Brentford v Fulham @3pm - to many, a far more interesting game is taking place elsewhere in west London where these two local rivals will duel for bragging rights. Both are pushing for a play-off spot at the very least and the atmosphere should be good. As has been mentioned many times before, Brentford's much loved Griffin Park stadium is closing at the end of the season so most of their home games sell out or go on restricted sale. If you can get a ticket for what will almost certainly, barring a cup draw, be the last meeting between the two at GP, you'll be very lucky indeed

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Doncaster Rovers @3pm - the Dons have definitely improved under new boss Glyn Hodges but they still face a long tough fight to stay up. Just three points above the relegation zone, their form is patchy and every win will be precious. Doncaster aren't having a great season but are comfortable enough in midtable and recently beat Wimbledon in the FA Cup. Tickets are available to non-members

League Two
Leyton Orient v Bradford City @3pm - just ahead of Newport County, the O's are second bottom of the League Two form table and really struggling for points. Still six points clear of the relegation zone, they're currently relying on the teams below them to continue being bad but those teams are all starting to pick up points. Bradford came down from League One last season but have responded well, mounting a very credible push for an automatic promotion place. Tickets are available to non-members

FA Trophy First Round
The FA Trophy is a national knockout competition for clubs in the fifth to eighth tiers with its final at Wembley. The qualifying rounds are now over and the all the National League (NL) sides from the fifth tier finally enter the draw. At this stage the ties are still regionalised over the north and south of the country. Winners of each tie receive £4,500 and the losers £1,500

Barnet v Weymouth @3pm - the Bees made it to one of the competition's first finals in 1972 but lost comfortably to Stafford Rangers and have never been back. Geographically they're one of the closest teams to Wembley and you can see the stadium clearly whilst waiting for a train back from Canons Park. Weymouth play in the division below Barnet but are pushing for promotion and could test their hosts if they're not really on their game
Sutton United v Dagenham & Redbridge @3pm - there's an all-NL affair at Gander Green Lane where two London sides in the lower half of the table look for a bit of cup joy. Both have made it to the final before but neither have won and the last time was over 20 years ago
Carshalton Athletic v Aveley @3pm - the Robins had a great run in the FA Cup and will want to do even better in this competition. On paper they should make progress here as they are playing one of the lowest, if not the lowest ranked, teams left in the competition. The Millers have done really well to get this far and have caused some upsets along the way. Their victory over Taunton, a club of similar standing to Carshalton, should give them confidence going into this one
Enfield Town v Ebbsfleet United @3pm - there's another intriguing tie in north London where Isthmian League play-off hopefuls Enfield host a struggling Ebbsfleet side who play two divisions above them. Their recent form has dipped alarmingly but home advantage could give them a real chance of a cupset
Hornchurch v Dulwich Hamlet @3pm - there would appear to be even bigger cupset potential at Bridge Avenue where another promotion-chasing side from the Isthmian League host a struggling side from the National League South, just one division above. This Dulwich squad is said to be the most expensive ever assembled but their form is woeful and they haven't won a league game in months

Isthmian League South Central
Tooting & Mitcham United v Ware @3pm - two of the division's title contenders meet in a big game at Imperial Fields. The Terrors have the games in hand to put them top so a win over second-placed Ware could be of huge significance in the final shake-up at the end of the season

Essex Senior League
Hadley v Hashtag United @3pm - after seeing off title rivals Walthamstow in E17, Hashtag will look to effectively the end the challenge of another one of the contenders

MCFL Premier Division
Clapton CFC v Indian Gymkhana Club @2pm - although way down in the 11th tier, Wadham Lodge is always worth a visit when the Tons are at home. On Saturday they scraped past Stonewall on penalties in what was an entertaining cup game by all accounts. Although in midtable, Clapton CFC have played less games than all those above them so are still in the hunt for another promotion. Admission is by donation so is effectively pay what you want

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Sunday 15 December

Premier League
Arsenal v Manchester City @430pm - the week ends with its biggest match as two giants of the English game meet at the Emirates. Much has been written already about the Gunners' woe but City are having a very poor season by their stratospheric standards. Although still in the hunt for the Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup, their hopes of winning the Premier League title look dead already thanks to Liverpool's outrageously good form. The reigning champions' defeat to local rivals Manchester United on Saturday saw them end the day a whopping 14 points behind Jurgen Klopp's team. Tickets are not available to non-members

FA Trophy First Round
Kingstonian v Woking @3pm - there's also one tie in this competition on Sunday and it could be a humdinger as former K's boss Alan Dowson brings the Cards to Tolworth. This all-Surrey tie between two of the biggest clubs in the county has been made all-ticket which means you must buy in advance. Tickets are priced at a very reasonable £10 and are available to non-members online

FA Women's Championship
Crystal Palace v Durham @1pm - the top women's match of the day is this one between two of the top six in the second tier. Adult tickets are £5

GET INVOLVED
If you're going to see a game, whether you're a local or a visitor, please let me know what you've been up to. If you're interested in reviewing a ground in the London area for this blog then get in touch. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

NEED HELP?
Got any questions about visiting London? Don't hesitate to ask - be they football or more general travel/touristy queries. I do not charge for this advice like some other sites so don't hold back!

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

TLFG: 2-8 December 2019

Greetings and welcome to the first TLFG of December as another year begins to draw to a close.

When I set up this blog in 2011 as an antidote to being made redundant from the BBC, I never thought I'd still be here eight years later. 

It has afforded me a creative outlet, expanded my knowledge of the London football scene and given me some great experiences at home and abroad thanks to some of the contacts I've made with TLFG readers.

There have been many kind offers of hospitality by fellow fans in other countries some of which I've been able to take up and others which I haven't but one day who knows?

It's London Non-League Dogs Day on Saturday
Away from the blog, the last couple of months have been a bit strange for me with the last 10 days in particular being a bit of a rollercoaster emotionally. 

I think I mentioned about a month ago that I was undergoing some health tests - first up, it seems these are all likely to produce good or acceptable results. 

However, one did come back with a very worrying reading which caused me to really confront my mortality - something I hadn't really grappled with since being a teenager. 

Thankfully, other tests have since pretty much abrogated that result and I should be ok subject to a couple rather more 'invasive' explorations but I should still be here for Christmas.

Elsewhere, my Dad who regular readers know is fighting cancer, has been hit with very rapidly diminishing eyesight which has turned his incredibly active lifestyle on its head in a staggeringly short time. It does seem it could be partially treatable and he has a big meeting about the progress of his cancer treatment on Tuesday so it's a big week.

Whyteleafe will be hosting the Southern Frontier Cup in May 2020
All this does put football into perspective and I've opted to spend the last week with my family rather than head out to a windswept ground which no-one else is interested in.

However, it has still lifted me on a couple of occasions over the last few days and preparing this blog has taken my mind off things.

Hearing from readers usually puts a smile on my face too and few events have been as eye-catching and fun as this Saturday's 'London Non-League Dogs Day' put on by TLFG reader Andy Lloyd-Williams at Fisher's SCEFL game against Erith & Belvedere in Rotherhithe.

With treats for your dog on the door and an 'interspecies team photo' with the players after the game, it's almost as unmissable as Crufts for canine football fans.

Also, looking ahead to the end of May, fans of Conifa football will be pleased to know the Surrey international side will be hosting the four team Southern Frontier Cup at Whyteleafe's ground.

North American side Cascadia and Yorkshire have so far been confirmed with one more team to be revealed in the coming days - tickets are on sale now for what should be an entertaining weekend.

Talking of big football tournaments, the draw for Euro 2020 took place on Saturday and several games will be played in London in June and July. The ticket ballot re-opens on Thursday 4 December so don't miss out if you want to get some.

Well I think that's it for me, hopefully I haven't depressed you too much, have a great week and enjoy your football!

Donate to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund here

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include a full programme in the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women's Super League and loads of other matches in our local non-league competitions. 

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or the venue or kick-off time has changed - this is highly possible for some of the lower non-league clubs. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found on the following match maps. If you've never used them before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the drop down menu at the top of the map page to make sure you get all the information. Games are listed from top to bottom in date order so Monday's games (yellow pin) will appear first and Sunday's (orange pin) last. Games are also ranked in terms of status so the higher the division, the higher up the list they will appear on each day.
Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - magenta pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, what are in my opinion the most notable games of the week and give some brief reasons for my choice. Check the maps above for kick-off times, ticket info and directions.

Monday 2 December

Professional Developement League
As usual, the week gets underway with some lunchtime U23 action. Crystal Palace take on Middlesbrough at Dulwich Hamlet's ground whilst QPR entertain Colchester at their training ground. With all games at this level, always check the details before you travel as they can change at short notice

Velocity Trophy
Brentwood Town v Grays Athletic @745pm - the top non-league game of the night is this Essex derby which has been switched to Aveley's ground

A bit further afield
If you're prepared to travel north into deepest Hertfordshire then you'll be rewarded with the opportunity of watching the U18 game between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup at Stevenage's ground at 7pm
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Tuesday 3 December

Premier League
Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth @730pm - the new era of Amazon broadcasting the Premier League begins on Tuesday night with this match at Selhurst Park. The Eagles enjoyed a very tidy win at Burnley on Saturday, leaving them just two points off the top five. The Cherries lost at Spurs to extend their losing run to three matches. In the eight games between them since Bournemouth joined the Premier League, the Dorset club have only won twice and lost 5-3 on their last visit in May. Unusually for a Palace home game, tickets are on general sale

London Senior Cup Second Round
Harrow Borough v Brentford B @745pm - after a decent start, Boro have won only one of their last 13 games in all competitions. A lot of the matches have been close but they've often lost in the end. Last season things were going much better and they met the Bees' second string in the final of the Middlesex Senior Cup. Brentford stuffed a decent Beckenham side 6-0 in the previous round and should comfortably win here

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Wednesday 4 December

Premier League

Chelsea v Aston Villa @730pm - the Amazon coverage continues with this match at Stamford Bridge. The Blues suffered a surprise defeat at home to West Ham on Saturday so will want to bounce back immediately against a Villa side who have lost three of their last five. The Birmingham club haven't played Chelsea for nearly four years and their record against them is poor with their 2012 visit to SW6 ending in an 8-0 loss being a particular low. Tickets are not available

Kent Senior Cup Second Round
Phoenix Sports v Charlton Athletic @745pm - like Brentford, the Addicks are another pro club to enter a development side in their local county cup which I applaud. They've won it three times, with the last title coming in 2015. Even though it will largely be youngsters in action, they should still edge past their Isthmian League opponents

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Thursday 5 December

Premier League

Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion @815pm - with Unai Emery gone, caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg could only inspire his Gunners charges to a 2-2 draw at lowly Norwich on Sunday. Next up are another side they should, at least on paper, also beat. Brighton have lost three in a row but I still expect to see a well motivated and spirited performance from them which could make for another difficult evening for this very shaky Arsenal team. Tickets are not available

Friendly
Brentford B v Grasshopper Zurich U23 @1pm - earlier in the day you should be able to get a bit of free European football at the Bees' training ground where the west London club stage another one of their high profile friendlies (double-check all the details on the day)

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Friday 6 December

Championship
Millwall v Nottingham Forest @745pm - with two draws last week, the Lions extended their unbeaten run to four matches. On Friday night they welcome a very capable Forest side who are well placed to push for promotion. Millwall are on a three-game unbeaten run against the East Midlands club and are actually four games up in the head-to-head since records began in 1909. Tickets are available

Premier League 2
There's also a fine selection of U23 football on Friday with a mouthwatering game between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool opening proceedings at midday at Spurs' training ground. Arsenal then entertain Blackburn Rovers at 7pm at Boreham Wood, whilst Fulham take on West Ham United at Motspur Park at 7pm. Admission details vary so check with all clubs on the day for the latest information

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Saturday 7 December

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley @3pm - after winning their opening three games under Jose Mourinho, Spurs travel to Man Utd for a huge match in midweek before returning to the THS for this eminently winnable game. The Clarets have defied the pundits again this season and appear in no danger of relegation but they'll still start as second favourites here - their last away win against Tottenham was in 1983. Tickets are not on sale to non-members
Watford v Crystal Palace @3pm - the Hornets lost their huge six-pointer at Southampton on Saturday which saw them sack manager Quique Sanchez Flores on Sunday, less than three months after he rejoined the club. Next up they have a very tough midweek trip to Leicester before they welcome Palace to Vicarage Road. A new manager should be in place by then so it appears quite a hard game to call at this point. Tickets are available

Championship
Fulham v Bristol City @3pm - with four wins a row, the Cottagers have hit a purple patch and are now real contenders for automatic promotion. On Saturday they welcome the Robins who, a bit like Derby, always seem to be around the top six but never make it to the promised land of the Premier League. Although Fulham are in better form, they'll need to be wary as City have won four of their last six against them. Tickets are available
Queens Park Rangers v Preston North End @3pm - the R's recovered from their 4-0 thrashing in midweek by Nottingham Forest to record a 1-1 draw at Derby on Saturday but they still slipped further down the table as their winless run got a bit longer. PNE were right up with the title challengers but two defeats in a week has seen them slip to fifth. The Lancashire club have become a real bogey team for QPR - they're unbeaten in nine games against them, winning the last six. Tickets are available

National League
Barnet v AFC Fylde @520pm - with AFC Wimbledon and Leyton Orient playing away, there's no other EFL action in London on Saturday. In the fifth tier this rather uninspiring match between two teams in the bottom half has been picked for live broadcast by BT Sport causing its late kick-off. The Bees put five past a stuggling Ebbsfleet side in their last match to end an iffy run but they should find things tougher against a resurgent Fylde side who've won their last two in the league and beat Kingstonian on Saturday to move into the Third Round of the FA Cup. Tickets are available

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Dartford @3pm - despite their good cup performances and huge fanbase, it's not going too well for the Hamlet in the NLS this season. Another loss at Oxford City on Saturday means they haven't won a league game since August. Now just four points above the relegation zone, a win in this derby will make a big difference. The Darts have been in better form of late and are above Dulwich in the table but only by three points - an important game for both

Isthmian League Premier Division
Wingate & Finchley v Hornchurch @3pm - in the seventh tier there's a match of great significance at either end of the table as Wingate look to move clear of the bottom three and the Urchins attempt to move into the top three. Despite their lowly position, W&F picked up an impressive point at title chasing Enfield Town on Saturday so they shouldn't be too overawed

Isthmian League South Central
Uxbridge v Harlow Town @3pm - the Reds are having their best season since 2011-12 when they made the play-offs. Sadly they didn't win and have been drifting around the eighth tier ever since. However, under new boss Danny Edwards they've surged into the top three in this division and look all set for another play-off campaign. Harlow have become a bit of a yo-yo club in recent years between the Premier Division and this one and they're just behind Uxbridge in what is a very congested top 10

FA Vase Third Round Replay
Sutton Common Rovers v Lancing @3pm - after fighting out a thrilling 3-3 draw in Sussex on Saturday, these two ninth-level clubs will have another go at taking a big step towards Wembley in this replay at Gander Green Lane

SCEFL Premier Division
Fisher v Erith & Belvedere @3pm - after several similar and very successful events around the country, Non-League Dogs Day comes to Rotherhithe as owners and their hounds are heartily encouraged to head to St Paul's Stadium to enjoy the action. With free dog treats provided on the door to entice your pooch and various other prizes available it should be a fun afternoon

CCL Division 1
Tooting Bec v Jersey Bulls @2pm - the match of the day in the 10th tier would appear to be this top-two clash at Imperial Fields. Channel Islands club Jersey have entered the English league system for the first time this season and have won all of their first 17 league fixtures to go 20 points clear with less than half the season gone. The task for second placed Tooting Bec is therefore a huge one - will they be the first team to beat them???

MCFL Premier Division
Cricklewood Wanderers v Brentham @230pm - there's also a top-two clash in the 11th tier where leaders Brentham travel to play Cricklewood at Wembley's Vale Farm ground. The visitors are celebrating their centenary season and are currently three points clear with three games in hand

MCFL Premier Division Cup Quarter-Final
Clapton CFC v Stonewall @130pm - over in Walthamstow you should be able to expect a lively exchange between two sides who produced a seven-goal thriller on this year's Non-League Day in front of a crowd of over 900

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Sunday 8 December

FA Women's Super League
Chelsea v Manchester City @12pm - on a packed day of women's football there's one standout game topping the bill as two of the top three meet in a high stakes game at high noon. These teams, along with Arsenal, dominate this league and any dropped point is usually crucial. With the Gunners demolishing Bristol City 11-1 on Sunday to go top on goal difference, a defeat for either of these sides could be hugely damaging to their title hopes. Tickets are available in advance or on the day but given the small stadium it could be pretty full


GET INVOLVED
If you're going to see a game, whether you're a local or a visitor, please let me know what you've been up to. If you're interested in reviewing a ground in the London area for this blog then get in touch. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

NEED HELP?
Got any questions about visiting London? Don't hesitate to ask - be they football or more general travel/touristy queries. I do not charge for this advice like some other sites so don't hold back!

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

TLFG: 25 November - 1 December 2019

This time last week I had no idea that we'd be welcoming Jose Mourinho back into the Premier League as Tottenham's new boss.

For me, it wasn't a huge surprise that Mauricio Pochettino was fired, Spurs' season has been a huge disappointment, but not many foresaw the appointment of the Portuguese.

In fact most fans and correspondents were staggered or even horrified in some cases.

Despite being probably the most famous and successful Chelsea manager of my lifetime, I have always rather liked him and the persona he brings as part of the package.

Tickets for West Ham's derby against Arsenal are on general sale
Yes he has lost his winning touch in recent years but I'm glad to see him back in the top flight again.

If he gets the results then most people in N17 will no doubt embrace him.

A relatively comfortable win at West Ham got his reign off to the perfect start and very winnable games against Olympiakos and AFC Bournemouth follow which could give him an enjoyable honeymoon period.

With those out of the way, huge games against former clubs Manchester United and Chelsea loom large in December and those could go a long way to defining how successful the 2019/20 season will be for him.

In other news, things continue to look decidedly dodgy for Arsenal and their manager Unai Emery.

Only a 96th-minute goal earned them a 2-2 draw against a poor Southampton side who conceded nine goals against Leicester a few weeks ago.

All in all, bar Spurs, it was a pretty miserable weekend for London's top sides with Chelsea, Crystal Palace, the aforementioned West Ham and Watford all losing.

In the Championship, Fulham won the derby against QPR to go fourth whilst there were also wins for Brentford and Millwall.

AFC Wimbledon got back to winning ways to move three points clear of the relegation zone in League One whilst Leyton Orient lost again to slide to 18th in League Two.

Bromley won the derby at Sutton United to stay level on points with leaders Barrow in the National League to remain as London's top non-league side.

'Two Men In Search...' pay a visit to Kingstonian

I've worked some very unsociable hours this week meaning football attendance has been a non-starter so I've had to follow from afar like many others.

It's been great to hear from those of you who have emailed or messaged me with various questions and observations - thanks as always.

Although I have next weekend off, my wife is going to a hen do so I'm babysitting for a lot of it.

Taking my six-year-old to a game isn't an issue but with a one-year-old also in tow it could be quite a challenge but let me know if you have any suggestions for where I could take them bearing in mind I'll be travelling by public transport and don't want too much walking at either end - this could actually make for quite an interesting feature in itself - 'Groundhop Dad'!

Anyway, that's enough from me - enjoy your football watching.


THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include a full programme in the Premier League, EFL, National League, FA Cup, Women's Super League and loads of other matches in our local non-league competitions. 

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or the venue or kick-off time has changed - this is highly possible for some of the lower non-league clubs. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found on the following match maps. If you've never used them before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the drop down menu at the top of the map page to make sure you get all the information. Games are listed from top to bottom in date order so Monday's games (yellow pin) will appear first and Sunday's (orange pin) last. Games are also ranked in terms of status so the higher the division, the higher up the list they will appear on each day.
Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - magenta pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, what are in my opinion the most notable games of the week and give some brief reasons for my choice. Check the maps above for kick-off times, ticket info and directions.

Monday 25 November

Professional Developement League
As usual, the week gets underway with some U23 action. Sadly it's all happening at club training grounds so check with Crystal Palace and QPR to see what admission policy is in place for their matches on Monday lunchtime. It's usually fine to go along but always check or you could get caught out

CCL Premier Division
Sutton Common Rovers v CB Hounslow United @745pm - the only senior football of the day takes place at Gander Green Lane where the hosts will break into the top three with a win over their struggling opponents
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Tuesday 26 November

Champions League
Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiakos @8pm - after his triumphant start at West Ham on Saturday, new boss Jose Mourinho will go in search of his third Champions League title with Spurs. Their opponents are currently top of the league in Greece but only managed a draw against struggling Panionios on Saturday. In the reciprocal fixture back in September, Tottenham blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 but you'd have to fancy them to win here. Tickets are not on general sale but if you know a member or season-ticket holder they can buy for you

Uefa Youth League
Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiakos @2pm - earlier in the day, the two clubs' U19 teams will do battle at Spurs' training ground. Tickets are free but must be pre-booked on 0344 844 0102, Option 2. They could well be gone by now but give them a call and see

Championship
Fulham v Derby County @745pm - if you can't get a ticket for any of the above, then why not spend the evening on the banks of the Thames at Craven Cottage? Fulham continued their good record of results against QPR with a 2-1 win over their west London rivals on Friday night. The three points lifted them to fourth. After a dodgy start, perennial promotion chasers Derby are now moving back into contention thanks in part to a fine win over Preston on Saturday. It will be quite something if the visitors do win - they haven't picked up a league victory here since 1969! Tickets
Millwall v Wigan Athletic @745pm - with all due respect, this is one of the unsexiest midweek fixtures you could hope to find at any point during the season let alone on what is predicted to be a wet Tuesday in November. To their credit, the Lions have done well since Gary Rowett came in as manager and they're now five points off the play-offs. The Latics, however, have picked up only one point from their last five games and are really struggling for form. Tickets

National League
Dagenham & Redbridge v Sutton United @745pm - the pick of the NL action can be found at Victoria Road where we have a derby to enjoy. The Daggers are slap bang in midtable but are on a very sticky run of four defeats in five. Sutton have had a stinker of a season and unsurprisingly lost Saturday's derby against title challenging Bromley. Peter Taylor's side won at Gander Green Lane in September and should come out on top here

FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round Replays
Dartford v Maidstone United @745pm - after fighting out an entertaining 2-2 draw in front of over 1,200 fans in the original tie on Saturday, these two Kent rivals will have another go at Princes Park on Tuesday. With only three points separating them in the league, it should be close again
Hornchurch v Oxford City @745pm - the Urchins have been having a fine season in the Isthmian League so it wasn't a huge surprise to see them get a draw at NLS also-rans Oxford City. Back on home turf, the Essex club could well have enough about them to progress

Isthmian League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Carshalton Athletic @745pm - talking of the Isthmian League, two of the promotion contenders meet at Donkey Lane on Tuesday. Both sides have games in hand on the clubs above them thanks to their good cup runs, so a win for either could well be significant
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Wednesday 27 November

Championship

Queens Park Rangers v Nottingham Forest @745pm - QPR are currently the only side in the top four divisions in England who have yet to keep a clean sheet. It's all about scoring for Rangers and with their games producing a total of 59 goals (for and against) this season, you shouldn't be short of entertainment. Despite all this action, they're on a pretty sticky run and are now winless in five. The stats would suggest that run could get extended here as Forest are fifth and have won on three of their last five visits. Tickets

Premier League International Cup
Arsenal v Villarreal @7pm - if that's not for you, there's a bit of U23 European action at Boreham Wood where the Gunners' development team take on Spanish opposition

ECL Division 1 South
Lopes Tavares v Hackney Wick @745pm - there's an east London derby in the 10th tier where two clubs in very different form meet at the Terence McMillan Stadium in Newham. The hosts have been top pretty much all season but haven't played a lot of late so their lead is just one point. The Wickers, despite their big media profile, have had a tough season. Having to play their home games in Haringey and with only one win from nine, they're down in the bottom three

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Thursday 28 November

Europa League

Arsenal v Eintracht Frankfurt @8pm - much has been written about the Gunners' struggles in the Premier League this season but in Europe it's been a different story. After four games, Arsenal are unbeaten and top of Group F. When they travelled to Germany to play Frankfurt in September, the north London club won 3-0 but morale has plummeted since then and it could be a different story. Tickets are not available to non-members

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Friday 29 November

Premier League Cup
Fulham v Plymouth Argyle @7pm - get your weekend underway with some U23 action at Fulham's training ground in Motspur Park. Admission details haven't been published yet but it's usually £3 for adults on the gate - check with the club on the day

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Saturday 30 November

Premier League
Chelsea v West Ham United @3pm - the Blues were a little unlucky to lose at Manchester City on Saturday and they face a midweek trip to Spain for a Champions League game before this. On current form there can surely only be one winner here as the Hammers are in trouble and are now only three points above the relegation zone. Tickets are not available to non-members
Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Bournemouth @3pm - if Spurs hadn't changed their manager last week, then you'd have to fancy the Cherries' chances of getting something. However, with Mourinho now in charge it could be very different. Tottenham won with relative ease against West Ham and should beat Olympiakos and you'd expect them to pick up three points here as the players continue to try and impress their new boss. Since joining the Premier League in 2015, Eddie Howe's side have lost all four of their away games against the north London club, scoring none and conceding 13 so the omens don't look good. Tickets are not available to non-members

Championship
Charlton Athletic v Sheffield Wednesday @1230pm - the Addicks are on TV again on Saturday. At the time this was selected it might have looked like a pretty decent game but both sides' form has slipped badly in recent weeks with only one win between them from their last five games. Tickets
Brentford v Luton Town @3pm - after beating local rivals Reading on Saturday, the Bees' next home match sees them take on another club from just outside London. With four wins from five, Brentford are now the Championship's form team so a match against the side in the worst form should yield another three points. With Griffin Park closing at the end of the season, tickets for matches are becoming increasingly hard to get hold of and this one is on restricted sale too

FA Cup Second Round
Kingstonian v AFC Fylde @3pm - with AFC Wimbledon and Leyton Orient already out of the FA Cup, there's only one tie in the London area all weekend and it's the Isthmian League K's who host. After thrashing crisis club Macclesfield in the last round, Kingstonian have drawn a National League side in this round. Lancashire club Fylde made the National League play-off final and won the FA Trophy last season but begun this season poorly. However, with a new manager in charge, their form has improved significantly and should still start as strong favourites. A potential tie against one of the giants of the Premier League awaits the winners so there's a huge amount at stake. Tickets

National League
Bromley v Yeovil Town @3pm - there's a huge game in the fifth tier where two of the top five meet at Hayes Lane. The Ravens are joint top and desperate for a crack at the big time whereas Yeovil are back in non-league football just five years after being a Championship side and are just as desperate to get back in the EFL. The south-east London club have seen a 37% increase in attendance this season as their average has now gone past the 2,000 mark and this is likely to boost it even further. Tickets are cheaper if booked online in advance and there's a free pint if you arrive before 1pm

National League South
Wealdstone v Concord Rangers @3pm - there's only one game in the sixth tier but it's an important one as the Stones look to strengthen their grip on top spot. Having dominated for the opening months of the season, Dean Brennan's side are starting to wobble. With only two wins from five in the league and booted out of the FA Trophy by Royston Town in one of the cupsets of the round on Saturday, they need to win here. Essex club Concord are slap bang in the middle of the table so should be beaten but they've given Wealdstone trouble in some big games in the past

Isthmian League Premier Division
Carshalton Athletic v Cray Wanderers @3pm - if the Robins win in midweek then this could be a top-six clash. Cray, London's oldest club, enjoyed promotion last season and have hit the ground running. Not only are they in the top five but they're the division's joint top scorers
Haringey Borough v Worthing @3pm - as a result of their extended run in the FA Cup, Haringey have several games in hand on the clubs above them. In fact if they won them they'd be above third placed Worthing so this could well end up being a match between two play-off contenders

Isthmian League South Central
Chertsey Town v Hanwell Town @3pm - this should have been a blockbuster clash between the top two but both suffered surprising defeats on Saturday to leave Hanwell top but Chertsey down in fifth. Nonetheless, it should still be a great game

Essex Senior League
Walthamstow v Hashtag United @3pm - on the subject of blockbuster games, we've definitely got one in the ninth tier where the top two, at the time of writing, meet. Takeley have a midweek game which could see them leapfrog both into top spot but they will have played four games more than either of them by that stage so it will be a slightly false lead. The Stow and Hashtag are only a point apart but it's the hosts who are banging them in for fun at the moment with seven on Saturday taking their total to 43 goals from 14 games.

MCFL Premier Division
London Samurai Rovers v Clapton CFC @2pm - nothing really floats my boat in the 10th tier so give this 11th tier match your consideration. LSR are, as their name might suggest, a team with their roots in London's Japanese community. They enjoyed promotion with the Tons last season and they both look like challenging for honours this season too. LSR are currently second but the visitors have the games in hand to put them right up there as well. This match is being played at Northwood's ground and could easily draw a crowd of 200+

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Sunday 1 December

FA Women's Super League
Arsenal v Bristol City @1230pm - there are a number of women's games on Sunday but this match featuring the reigning league champions Arsenal tops the bill. The Gunners kept up the pressure on leaders Manchester City with a 1-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday. They could go top with a win here and they should win as they beat the Robins 7-0 in the League Cup last week. Tickets are cheaper if bought online in advance
West Ham United v Manchester United @3pm - if you're on the east side of town, you might find this midtable contest more to your liking. The Hammers made it to the FA Cup Final last season but are struggling to really assert themselves in the league. In midtable and in no real danger of going down, it's probably quite easy to coast along and wait for the big cup games but a visit from this newly promoted Man Utd side should hopefully make things a bit more interesting. Tickets


GET INVOLVED
If you're going to see a game, whether you're a local or a visitor, please let me know what you've been up to. If you're interested in reviewing a ground in the London area for this blog then get in touch. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

NEED HELP?
Got any questions about visiting London? Don't hesitate to ask - be they football or more general travel/touristy queries. I do not charge for this advice like some other sites so don't hold back!

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

TLFG: 18-24 November 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

How's your week been?

Mine has been pretty quiet with no live football whatsoever as family commitments have taken priority.

I did do an interview with The Athletic on Friday about "Women's Football Weekend" and the parallels it has with Non-League Day.

Did you get to see a WSL game or something at a lower level? I would've been all over it but my Auntie Beryl booked tickets for the family to go and see the Tutankhamun exhibition months ago so I found myself at the Saatchi Gallery instead which was also very interesting.

Tickets are on sale for Saturday's big derby at the London Stadium
I really don't have a lot more to add. There are a lot of big games this week as the Premier League and EFL return in full.

There are four games in the top flight with West Ham's derby against Tottenham being the highlight of what's on offer - tickets are available too.

Aside from that there are also some cracking non-league games, an FA Cup replay and the next round of the FA Trophy.

As always, have a great week and enjoy your football.

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include a full programme in the Premier League, EFL, National League, FA Trophy, Women's Super League and loads of other matches in our local non-league competitions. 

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or the venue or kick-off time has changed - this is highly possible for some of the lower non-league clubs. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found on the following match maps. If you've never used them before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the drop down menu at the top of the map page to make sure you get all the information. Games are listed from top to bottom in date order so Monday's games (yellow pin) will appear first and Sunday's (orange pin) last. Games are also ranked in terms of status so the higher the division, the higher up the list they will appear on each day.
Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - magenta pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin



TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, what are in my opinion the most notable games of the week and give some brief reasons for my choice. Check the maps above for kick-off times, ticket info and directions.

Monday 18 November

Professional Developement League
Charlton Athletic v Watford @1pm - the pick of the day's U23 action takes place at The Valley where the Addicks take on their counterparts from Vicarage Road. There's also a game at Crystal Palace's training ground but as with all U23 games, confirm all the details before you travel

FA Youth Cup Second Round
With a lunchtime game under your belt, you can then head to one of the U18 cup matches taking place in the evening. Usually I don't cover this competition until the next round and I'm beginning to remember why as fixtures get postponed and moved at very short notice. At this stage, three games are on - Croydon v Bath City,  Hanworth Villa v AFC Wimbledon and Dulwich Hamlet v Forest Green Rovers. Entry prices vary but never go above £5

Isthmian League Premier Division
Haringey Borough v Hornchurch @745pm - if youth football's not your thing then this senior match at Coles Park should be more to your liking as two of the Isthmian League's title contenders go head-to-head. Although Haringey are way down in 10th, they have five games in hand on the leaders thanks to their extended run in the FA Cup. The Urchins are up in fourth but have games in hand too which means these two should both be fighting for honours by the end of the season
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Tuesday 19 November

FA Cup First Round Replay
Bromley v Bristol Rovers @745pm - fighting hard for the National League title and taking League One play-off contenders Bristol Rovers to a replay in the cup, the Ravens are having a great season. Over 2,000 tickets have already been sold and the remainder are on general sale for £15 so act fast if you want to go as none will be available on the day

FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round
Bedfont Sports v Paulton Rovers @745pm - the hosts almost got thrown out of this competition after fielding an ineligible player in the opening round but were instead given the chance to re-play the tie. As a result they've been playing catch up for the last few weeks with most sides now getting ready for Third Qualifying Round ties this weekend. After beating a decent Grays side and the higher ranked Hitchin in previous rounds, they should fancy their chances here

Southern League Cup Second Round
Hendon v Hayes & Yeading United @745pm - having met twice already this season in two very entertaining games, these two local rivals will look to put on another goal feast. With 14 goals finding the net in those two encounters which took place in the space of 10 days last month, this will hopefully be another cracker

Essex Senior League
Walthamstow v Takeley @745pm - unbeaten in their 12 league games so far this season, the Stow are second with games in hand on the leaders. One of those games is this one against third placed Takeley who are often among the top clubs in this division - a big game for both

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Wednesday 20 November

Isthmian League Premier Division

Kingstonian v Enfield Town @745pm - with only one home win this season, the K's league form has been pretty unimpressive but in the cups it's been a different story. Through to the Second Round of the FA Cup and the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy, the south-west London club have barely put a foot wrong. Enfield are still in the Trophy too but, more importantly, are doing really well in the league and have strong title aspirations

FA Women's League Cup
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur @7pm - there are a number of games in this competition on Wednesday night with this crosstown derby the standout match. We're still at the group stage at the moment with the top two in each group progressing. Chelsea are currently top and Spurs are third

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Thursday 21 November

FA Women's League Cup

Arsenal v Bristol City @730pm - in Group B the top two meet at Boreham Wood. Despite their disappointing league form, it's actually Bristol City who are top, one point ahead of the Gunners

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Friday 22 November

Championship
Fulham v Queens Park Rangers @745pm - pretty much every west London derby gets picked for TV these days and this one is no different. Unfortunately for QPR their record in such derbies is pretty poor. Against Brentford they've lost eight of the last 11 and against the Cottagers it's six of the last 10, including a 6-0 and a 4-0. No matter who's in charge or who the players are, Rangers really struggle to get themselves properly prepared for these matches. With Fulham only a couple of points ahead of QPR, on paper at least, it should be a close game. Unusually for a game at Craven Cottage, tickets are only on sale to people with a previous purchasing history and QPR's allocation sold out a long time ago

Premier League 2
If you can't get a ticket for this but still want to watch Fulham, their U23 team are also in action on Friday night as they host Swansea City at the club's training ground. Over on the other side of town, it's also West Ham United v Aston Villa at Dagenham & Redbridge's stadium

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Saturday 23 November

Premier League
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur @1230pm - a packed programme of Premier League action gets underway at lunchtime with this derby in the Olympic Park. Both clubs fought for control of the Olympic Stadium a few years ago with the Hammers eventually coming out on top. Given what Spurs have ended up with instead, I don't think they'll have too many complaints. Back to the present day and both sides are going through a pretty bad patch at the moment with only bottom clubs Southampton and Norwich in worse shape. Unsurprisingly there are quite a few tickets available for what is normally one of London's bigger games
Arsenal v Southampton @3pm - as mentioned above, the Saints have had a very poor start to the season and the Gunners are struggling too. Both managers are under huge pressure and a win for either could see the other sacked. Since returning to the Premier League in 2012, Southampton haven't won a league game at the Emirates so their chances of picking up three points look slim. Tickets are not available to non-members but if you want to see an Arsenal side in action, their U23 team are also playing Southampton in a Premier League 2 game at Boreham Wood at 1pm
Crystal Palace v Liverpool @3pm - after losing at Chelsea last weekend, Palace slipped to 12th as their winless run extended to four games. It's not going to get any easier on Saturday as the unbeaten league leaders visit Selhurst Park. There have been some pretty epic matches between these two over the years, not least last season's seven-goal thriller at Anfield, but it's the Reds who invariably come out on top. Jurgen Klopp's side put in a very professional performance to win 2-0 in south London on their last trip in January and I expect something similar here. Tickets are not available to non-members
Watford v Burnley @3pm - it's not the sexiest of games by any means but it could be crucial, particularly for the Hornets. After being bottom for so long, Watford finally got their first win last week against fellow strugglers Norwich. That result has put them only three points from safety and this should be a game that they target another three points. Despite being incredibly unfashionable, Burnley continue to hold their own and ended a poor run with a solid win over West Ham in their last game. Tickets are available

Championship
Charlton Athletic v Cardiff City @1230pm - there's some lunchtime action in the second tier where the Addicks welcome the Bluebirds. After a fine start, Lee Bowyer's side are now four games without a win and could do with a positive result. Cardiff lost their last match and saw veteran manager Neil Warnock leave the club. On Saturday they replaced him with former Millwall manager Neil Harris. Tickets are available to non-members
Brentford v Reading @3pm - in this division, Brentford are geographically Reading's closest rivals so this is very much a derby. Rail connections between the two towns are good and I've been on trains that have been absolutely heaving from fairly early in the day. The Bees are higher up the table and in good form but the Royals are enjoying a big change in fortune under new boss Mark Bowen and should be more than competitive on what will probably be their last ever visit to Griffin Park before its demolition. As a result, tickets are not available to non-members

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Gillingham @3pm - with 7 points from their last five games, the Dons have improved significantly under Glyn Hodges. The Gills' form is similar and are the sort of team Wimbledon could well beat. Tickets are available to non-members

Level Two
Leyton Orient v Forest Green Rovers @3pm - the O's suffered the ignominy of losing at home to Maldon & Tiptree in the FA Cup First Round. With four divisions separating the two, it was a proper giant killing and cost manager Carl Fletcher his job just 29 days after being appointed. Former non-league club FGR arrive at Brisbane Road as one of the division's top clubs and will be very tough to beat. Tickets are available

National League
Sutton United v Bromley @3pm - since losing highly successful manager Paul Doswell, Sutton's fortunes have plummeted as replacement Matt Gray has struggled in the role. With only four wins from 20 league games so far this season, it's quite surprising that he's still in the job. On Saturday they welcome local rivals Bromley who are challenging for the title, playing the likes of Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup and having possibly the season of their lives - it could be an uncomfortable afternoon

FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round
This national knockout competition for clubs in the fifth to eighth tiers, with its final at Wembley, has reached its final qualifying round. There are numerous ties across the city, some of which are still to be decided - here are a few of the more notable ones.
Dulwich Hamlet v Chippenham Town @3pm - after their FA Cup run ended at the hands of Carlisle, the Hamlet's only remaining way of getting to Wembley this season is through this competition. Both sides are in midtable in the National League South so it should be closely contested. Dulwich drew another crowd in excess of 3,000 on Saturday so turn up early to get a decent view as the sightlines aren't great
Carshalton Athletic v Tooting & Mitcham United @3pm - the hosts also saw their fine FA Cup run end last week and should, in theory, start as favourites here. However, this is a south London derby and Tooting are in superb form albeit in the division below. It's an intriguing one
Enfield Town v Maldon & Tiptree @3pm - again at first glance the hosts should be strong favourites. They play a division above the visitors and are one of the best teams in it but M&T are also in great form and grabbed all the headlines recently by beating Leyton Orient in the FA Cup

A bit further afield
Leatherhead v Dorking Wanderers @3pm - just beyond the M25 we've got a big Surrey derby at Fetcham Grove. Matches between these two have drawn big crowds in recent years and hopefully this will be no different. Given Wanderers now play at a higher level and there will be no league games between the two, there's even more reason for a good turnout

Isthmian League South East
Cray Valley PM v Guernsey @2pm - following their promotion, CVPM have settled in superbly at this level and are top after 11 games. Guernsey joined the English league system in 2011 and looked like surging up the pyramid after winning back-to-back promotions in front of huge crowds. However, the eighth tier is as far as they've got. Last year was dreadful by their standards as they finished in the bottom three but this year they're back in contention and could move into the play-off places with a win here - note the early kick-off time
Phoenix Sports v Chichester City @3pm - hoping to keep Guernsey out of the top five are Phoenix who are just ahead of them on goal difference. The south-east London club welcome one of the most famous teams in non-league at the current time with the Sussex side creating lots of headlines in the FA Cup this season. After receiving a bye in the First Round because of Bury's sad demise, the tiny club will now travel to either Tranmere or Wycombe in the Second Round.  Although well down the league table, they should be right up there among the play-off contenders if they win their games in hand

SSML Premier Division
Wembley v Tring Athletic @3pm - there are no real blockbuster fixtures in the ninth tier this week so I've gone for this one as it sees the Lions welcome the current league leaders. Over the summer, former England manager and current Crystal Palace supremo Roy Hodgson conducted a coaching session for the Tring players and it seems to have paid off as they've made a great start to the season. With only 12 points from 12 games, the same can't be said for Wembley who could well struggle here

SSML Division 1
St Panteleimon v New Salamis @3pm - the standout game of the day in the 10th tier sees the top two in this division go head-to-head. Both sides are new to this level of football after enjoying promotion at the end of last season and are 'smashing it' as I believe the youth say. The hosts, who play at North Greenford United, have yet to lose any of their opening 16 league games so will start as favourites. The pair met in the Division 1 Cup recently and it went to penalties with the Saints edging through so it should be close again. Both sides also have their roots in the Greek/Cypriot community as well

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Sunday 24 November

FA Women's Super League
Arsenal v Liverpool @2pm - there are two WSL games on Sunday with this match being the most eye-catching as reigning league champions Arsenal take on Liverpool. The Reds are having a terrible season so far and have picked up only one point from their opening five games. Tickets to watch the Gunners at Boreham Wood are cheaper if bought online in advance
West Ham United v Reading @3pm - in the other top-flight game of the afternoon, last season's beaten FA Cup finalists host the Royals. Both are currently locked in midtable so it should be close. Tickets for matches at Rush Green are £8


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