Sunday, 13 January 2013

TLFG: 14-20 January 2013

Hello there and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

It's been another busy week - I'm currently coming towards the end of seven days of late shifts at work, my first child's birth is imminent and a very close relative is battling a serious illness but somehow I've managed to squeeze this post in.

If the quality or quantity of my output over the next few weeks and months slips, you'll know why and I apologise in advance.

In a couple of snatched hours on Saturday I was also able to get along to Loftus Road to see QPR's latest London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.

Originally scheduled for this Monday night, Kieron Dyer's injury-time equaliser against West Brom in last week's FA Cup tie (his last touch before being a little surprisingly released) had caused the Spurs fixture to be moved to make way for the replay.

It was to my benefit as I would have missed it otherwise.

QPR's Anton Ferdinand looks on as a fan has a go at the half-time 'Round the Pole' competition
Despite the gulf in points and places between the two in the Premier League table, I went into this game with hope. The last two matches between the two had been close, entertaining affairs with one win apiece.

The added Harry Redknapp factor also made me think we could be competitive.

As in the recent win at Chelsea, QPR set up to defend with Adel Taarabt up front on his own.

Consequently Spurs had more and better chances bringing some superb saves out of Julio Cesar (I'm still not sure what he's doing at my club) but they could never relax and Rangers had their moments.

It ended 0-0 which was no disgrace, but QPR need wins and last year we took our one decent chance against the north Londoners and held on. 

Finding a cutting edge before the end of January is essential or the end seems certain.

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, 730pm - Brazil, international friendly, Wembley

Wednesday 23 January, 745pm - West Ham United, Premier League

Saturday 9 February, 3pm - Wigan Athletic, Premier League

Wednesday 30 January, 8pm - West Ham United, Premier League
Saturday 23 February, 1245pm - Stoke City, Premier League

Tuesday 29 January, 745pm - Manchester City, Premier League
Saturday 2 February, 1245pm - Norwich City, Premier League 

Nothing currently available

Saturday 19 January, 3pm - QPR, Premier League
Saturday 2 February, 3pm - Swansea City, Premier League

Aside from these, tickets are also on sale for a bonus international friendly between South Korea and Croatia at Craven Cottage on Wednesday 6 February. Sadly it kicks-off at 2pm, presumably for Korean TV purposes, but this means you could take a day off see this and then go to England v Brazil at Wembley in the evening.

In the Championship, the south-east London derby between Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic on 2 February is now on general sale.

Last month Brentford operated a 'Pay What You Want' scheme for their League One fixture against Stevenage - sadly the game was postponed. However, it's been re-arranged for 12 February and the same scheme is in operation. Last week the club reported there were around 1,000 tickets left so it must be approaching a sell out.

The Bees have also cut prices for their FA Cup replay against Southend on 15 January - adult prices are £12 to stand and £15 to sit. Likewise Leyton Orient are charging £15 for their replay against Hull City the same night.

Over the next week there are more than 70 matches taking place in the London area so there's plenty to choose from. There are big London derbies, top of the table clashes, FA Cup replays and some FA Youth Cup ties too.

Details on all of them can be found in the following 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.

Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

Bad weather may 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 which I think could be worth a bit of your time this week - feel free to mention your own or let us know where you're going in the comments section below.


1. Chelsea v Arsenal - the match of the week takes place at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as two of the Premier League's top six go head-to-head. Not only this but it is of course a big London derby. Each club's fans probably hate Tottenham more but the rivalry is pretty intense between these two as well. Both are in  good form at the moment (this is being written before the Gunners' game against Manchester City) and both have managed to score seven or more goals in a game over the last few weeks. The Blues took the honours at the Emirates by 2-1 in September so maybe it's Arsenal's turn to come out on top. (Premier League, 20 Jan, 130pm. Ticket info)

2. Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - from a non-London perspective this is a bigger game than the one above as it pits fourth against first (at the time of writing). These games often promise much but fail to deliver as Man Utd win fairly convincingly. However, this season it could well be different. Spurs are again in good form with just one defeat in 10 and they also won a thriller at Old Trafford earlier in the season. Tottenham haven't beaten Sir Alex Ferguson's side at White Hart Lane since 2001 but this looks like being their best chance for a while. (Premier League, 20 Jan, 4pm. Ticket info)

3. West Ham United v Queens Park Rangers - the big fixtures are coming thick fast for QPR at the moment with this derby against east London's top club. This game is again significant for Rangers boss Harry Redknapp - the Hammers are the club he has the strongest affinity with having been born in the area, played for and managed them. It has, however, been 12 years since he was last on the payroll at Upton Park where Sam Allardyce is now in charge. The former Bolton and Blackburn boss brought West Ham up from the Championship last season and has taken them into midtable. However, they've lost three of their last four and could be susceptible if the visitors show some of their recent resolve. (Premier League, 19 Jan, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. Millwall v Burnley - two outside contenders for promotion from the Championship meet at the Den on Saturday. After spending quite a bit of time at the wrong end of the table last season, Kenny Jackett has done a fine job at the Bermondsey club this season. Their great run which began earlier in the season has faltered a bit recently but they're still seventh just two places off a play-off spot. Burnley on the other had are just two points behind them and come into this on the back of a fine 1-0 win over third placed Crystal Palace on Saturday. (Championship, 19 Jan, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Brentford v Tranmere Rovers - this is undoubtedly the match of the week in League One as third host first. Only four points separate the two at the moment and it would be a lot more if Rovers hadn't had a sticky spell in November/December where they went winless in six. With that behind them they've won their last four to be coming to Griffin Park in good shape. Despite this the Bees will strongly fancy their chances because they are the division's form team who are unbeaten in 13 league matches. It should be a cracker! (League One, 19 Jan, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Welling United v Boreham Wood - after narrowly losing to Conference high-flyers Grimsby Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday, the Wings entertain fellow promotion chasers Boreham Wood at Park View Road on Saturday. If you're not up on the latest, Welling have won their last nine league games to sit second in the Conference South three points behind Salisbury with a game in hand. Their opponents have had a fine season and have kept up with the pace despite being one of the smallest clubs in the division. With an average crowd of just 229 they have sustained their push for the play-offs and are fourth at the time of writing. Unbeaten in three themselves, I expect the north London club to give it a good go! (Conference South, 19 Jan, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Dulwich Hamlet v Maidstone United - although this is a Step 4/Level 8 fixture, it's arguably the non-league match of the weekend in the capital. Dulwich and Maidstone currently occupy the top two spots in the Isthmian League Division One South table. The hosts are currently three points ahead but the Kent club have a game in hand. With only one team going up automatically the stakes are high. They are, unsurprisingly, the two best supported clubs in the division so a crowd in the high hundreds or even a 1,000 isn't out of the question. Champion Hill is also a fine stadium for the level and easily accessible by public transport. I can't enthuse enough about this match! (Isthmian League Division One South, 19 Jan, 3pm. Club info)

8. Grays Athletic v Tilbury - this is a slightly strange one to recommend as both clubs actually come from outside TLFG's catchment area. However, Grays currently play their games in Romford so I do include them. With this cleared up, it needs to be pointed out that this is a derby and quite a bitter one at that. In recent seasons there have been all kinds of trouble between these two which for the level of football is quite shocking and certainly very disappointing. If you still fancy going, both sides are doing rather well on the pitch and could both make the play-offs. The hosts are third at present while Tilbury are eighth just two points adrift of that all-important fifth spot. (Isthmian League Division One North, 19 Jan, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. Epsom & Ewell v Windsor - for me and many other casual observers of the Combined Counties League, the title race seemed to be between Egham Town and Guernsey. After the big disappointment of seeing the match between the two on Saturday get postponed, we get the chance to have a look at two of the other contenders this weekend. A six-game winning run culminating in a 3-2 win at fellow challengers Badshot Lea has lifted Epsom to second, seven points behind pacesetters Egham. Windsor were also expected to do well this year until the chairman decided to remove the club's playing budget, with the goal of getting players to play for the love of the game rather than money. The management team and most of a very useful squad left and a plummet down the league was predicted. However, this hasn't happened and Windsor are now fourth having thrashed Ash United 7-0 on Saturday. (Combined Counties League Premier Division, 19 Jan, 3pm. Club info)

10. Erith Town v Whyteleafe - the race for the Kent League title looks like being a thriller as the two Erith clubs go neck-and-neck for glory. At the moment Erith & Belvedere are ahead of Town but only on goal difference. Whyteleafe, relegated from the Isthmian League last season, represent the best of the rest seven points behind in third. If they are to have any chance of claiming the crown this year then a win in this one is almost essential.  (Kent League Premier Division, 19 Jan, 3pm. 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.


  1. Real shame the Dulwich v Maidstone game was called off at the 11th hour, was really looking forward to this match.

    1. Indeed it was a shame. I was contacted by quite a few people who were headed there and had to turn back or go elsewhere.

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