Sunday, 16 December 2012

TLFG: 17-23 December 2012

I'm currently about to start day six of a seven day working week so getting this week's blog out on time has been a struggle.

Although it's pretty much all there, I feel as if it's been a little rushed so apologies if you think that too.

There was much rejoicing at TLFG Towers yesterday when QPR finally won a game and what a good one to win it was too - the derby against Fulham.

Sadly I was working and missed it!

The only football action I've seen in the flesh this week were a few grabbed seconds of the Combined Counties League clash between Worcester Park and Feltham as I viewed from a train (Worcester Park station's southbound platform overlooks the ground). The visitors went close to scoring from a corner but ultimately lost 3-0.

Anyway, on with this week's blog...

LATEST TICKET NEWS
Each week at TLFG we attempt to compile a list of what's on general sale to non-members at London's Premier League clubs and for other notable matches (click on the team name for details).

Wednesday 6 February, 8pm - Brazil, international friendly, Wembley

Nothing currently available

CHELSEA
Nothing currently available

Wednesday 26 December, 3pm - Southampton, Premier League
Saturday 29 December, 3pm - Swansea City, Premier League
Saturday 5 January, 5pm - Blackpool, FA Cup (on sale 20 Dec)
Saturday 12 January, 3pm - Wigan Athletic, Premier League
Wednesday 30 January, 8pm - West Ham United, Premier League
Saturday 23 February, 1245pm - Stoke City, Premier League (on sale 20 Dec)

QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Wednesday 26 December, 3pm - West Bromwich Albion, Premier League
Saturday 5 January, 3pm - West Bromwich Albion, FA Cup

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Saturday 22 December, 3pm - Stoke City, Premier League
Tuesday 1 January, 3pm - Reading, Premier League
Saturday 5 January, 3pm - Coventry City, FA Cup (on sale 19 Dec)

WEST HAM UNITED
Saturday 22 December, 3pm - Everton, Premier League
Tuesday 1 January, 3pm - Norwich City, Premier League
Saturday 5 January, 515pm - Manchester United, FA Cup
Saturday 19 January, 3pm - QPR, Premier League (on sale 18 Dec)

Outside the Premier League, Christmas is coming early with many Football League clubs offering incentives to get you to come along this Saturday (22 December). It's kids for a quid at Watford who entertain former European champions Nottingham Forest, while there are also cheap tickets on offer at Crystal Palace and Millwall but you do have to know a season-ticket holder or member to get one.

The deal of the week, however, is to be found at Griffin Park where it's 'Pay What You Want' for Brentford's League One game against Stevenage. When you consider this is effectively a derby and it's between two of the division's best teams, it really is a great offer. If you can't make it to that game but live nearby, they're also offering discounted admission for their FA Cup second round replay against penalty kings Bradford City on Tuesday (18 Dec) so this really is the week to visit Brentford.

Elsewhere in League One, Leyton Orient have knocked £5 off the price of all their adult tickets for their festive fixtures against Swindon Town (26 Dec) and Walsall (29 Dec).

Also, don't forget that all London clubs that are playing at home in the FA Cup third round on 5 January are offering discounts. The game between West Ham United and Manchester United is probably the most eye-catching with tickets to non-members costing £30. Admission to the other all Premier League tie between QPR and West Brom ranges from £25-35. It's £20 at White Hart Lane for Tottenham's game against Coventry, whilst you can get access to Fulham v Blackpool from £15 if bought in advance. There are also deals in place at Charlton, Crystal Palace and Millwall. Not all have gone on sale yet so check with clubs when you can get hold of them.

Over the next seven days there are over 60 matches taking place in the London area. It's a little less than normal as clubs save themselves for the orgy of football that takes place from Boxing Day onwards.

Last year, compiling TLFG for that period was a huge effort and I compared the final product to the Christmas Radio Times as it was so packed with entertaining fixtures.

I'm still not sure of how I'm going to do it yet as I'm at home this year and don't need to compile a double issue, however I think a lot of readers like it so they can plan ahead. I'll have a think...

With all that in mind, here's this week's match map. If you've never used it 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 left side of the page to make sure you get all the information.

MATCH MAP
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


View London match map 17-23 December 2012 in a larger map

Bad weather will almost certainly see a few postponements as the week progresses so, as always, check with clubs before you travel. Please also let me know if any of the details are wrong or missing.

Next up is this blog's top 10 recommendations of games that could be particularly worth watching this week, feel free to mention your own in the comments section below.

TLFG TOP 10


1. West Ham United v Everton - not a hugely glamorous match on paper but hopefully an entertaining one. At the time of writing the Toffees are in the top four after another season of shrewd management by David Moyes. The Hammers, if they win at West Brom today, could start this match in seventh in what has been a fine return to the top flight for them. Either way this should be a well matched, physical contest as the sides continue their quest for a place in Europe.  (Premier League, 22 Dec, 3pm. Ticket info)

2. Watford v Nottingham Forest -  after a shaky start to life under manager Gianfranco Zola, the Hornets have really started to pick up some momentum having lost only twice in 10 league games. Although they've slightly gone off the boil over the last week, they are still just two points away from the play-off places. Former European champions Forest are only a point behind them so, as above, a decent match should ensue. It's also 'Kids For A Quid'. (Championship, 22 Dec, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Brentford v Stevenage - As mentioned above, this match sees two of League One's best sides go head-to-head at Griffin Park. Stevenage play just outside TLFG's catchment area so we don't usually cover them but this can fairly reasonably be described as a derby. To top it all the Bees are offering a 'Pay What You Want' deal so it's a great time to pay them a visit. (League One, 22 Dec, 3pm. Ticket info

4. Boreham Wood v Hayes & Yeading United - two promotion contenders in the Conference South play on Saturday in another derby. Hayes would normally feature in TLFG but over the last year or so they've been playing their games at Woking's ground (outside our area) while their own new one is built. The hosts are in better form at the moment so should shade it. (Conference South, 15 Dec, 3pm. Club info)

5. Dulwich Hamlet v Wealdstone - the second best team in the Isthmian League Division 1 South host the third best team in the division above them in the League Cup. The hosts will want to prove themselves against a team from the level they aspire to play at while the Stones will look to continue their great run of form that saw them crush Enfield Town 4-0 on Saturday. (Isthmian League Cup, 19 Dec, 745pm. Club info)

6. Thamesmead Town v Heybridge Swifts - with Charlton Athletic on their doorstep, Thamesmead struggle to get recognition despite doing rather well. At the time of writing they've made it into the Isthmian League Division 1 North's top six and a therefore well in with a shot at promotion. If they are to be taken seriously then they'll have to do well in this game against third place Heybridge who are there for the taking given their current very inconsistent form.   (Isthmian League Division 1 North, 22 Dec, 3pm. Club info)

7. North Greenford United v AFC Hayes - neither side are having a spectacularly good season but this is a local derby and Greenford especially need to scrap for every point they can get as they look to avoid relegation. The visitors have had a much better season but midtable security looks like the best they'll achieve. It's a good option on an otherwise quiet Tuesday night.  (Southern League Division 1 Central, 18 Dec, 745pm. Club info)

8. Bethnal Green United v Sporting Bengal United - the latest playing of the Mile End derby takes place on Saturday. Both clubs play at the Mile End Stadium and both have their roots in the local Bengali community, although players from all backgrounds represent them. For football at this level it usually attracts a decent crowd and it gets quite lively. Bethnal usually hold the upper hand on these occasions and this time should be no different.  (Essex Senior League, 22 Dec, 3pm. Club info)

9. Hillingdon Borough v Harefield United - again we have a match where neither side are having a particularly great season but it is a derby. Both sides have their grounds effectively on the same road although they're about two miles apart. Well worth a watch if you live to the west of town. (Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, 22 Dec, 3pm. Club info)

10. London Lions v Cockfosters - regular readers will know that I went to see the reverse fixture played just over a month ago. The Lions started that day below Cockfosters but won 3-1 and are now Spartan South Midlands League Division 1 leaders and still have games in hand on all the other clubs in the top five. The visitors are still third though and were unlucky not to get at least a point when they last met. (Spartan South Midlands League Division 1, 22 Dec, 2pm. Club info)


If you have any questions or want advice about watching football in London, you can contact TLFG using the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or email.

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