Sunday, 27 January 2013

TLFG: 28 January - 3 February 2013

Hi there and welcome to TLFG as we move, already, into the second month of 2013.

Snow saw the postponement of many games in London this week and my ongoing work and family commitments meant I missed out again.

Thankfully that meant I avoided QPR's horror show against MK Dons in the FA Cup and I've managed to shift my ticket for the game against Manchester City on Tuesday too.

With the birth of my first child set for Wednesday my lean spell looks set to continue but it could be delayed and I might get to squeeze in the Norwich game on Saturday.

If you've made it to a game this week or have a postponement horror story, I'd like to hear about it below or via Facebook or Twitter.

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).

Saturday 2 February, 3pm - Stoke City, Premier League

Thursday 21 February, 805pm - Sparta Prague, Europa 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 

Saturday 9 February, 1245pm - Newcastle United, Premier League
Thursday 14 February, 805pm - Lyon, Europa League

Monday 25 February, 8pm - Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League

Aside from the above, I'm led to believe that the south London derby between Championship clubs Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic on Saturday 2 February is still on general sale.

The following week, Palace travel to Watford for another derby and with both sides currently in the top five it looks like being a cracker.

Leyton Orient have made it to the southern area final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and on the 5 February they will play relatively near neighbours Southend United in the first leg knowing a place at Wembley is up for grabs. It's a big game for both clubs but tickets are only £15. They go on general sale on Monday 28 January.

Also that night, England C are in action against Turkey at Dartford's Princes Park ground. Apparently tickets are FREE, just call or email the club to get one.

There is also availability for an nternational friendly between South Korea and Croatia at Craven Cottage on Wednesday 6 February. Sadly it kicks-off at 2pm, presumably for Korean TV purposes. If you're lucky enough to have tickets for England v Brazil at Wembley in the evening, you could take the day off and do an international 'double'.

If the Europa League is your thing, Chelsea v Sparta Prague on 21 February could be a fine way to spend your evening. It looks like tickets are being sold at a flat rate of £30 which is much less than you'd normally pay for a trip to Stamford Bridge. The week before in the same competition, Tottenham Hotspur host Lyon and have applied 'Category C' prices which means adult tickets will vary from £32-£47.

We've also received word that Fulham season-ticket holders can take up to two friends to their Premier League game against Stoke City on 23 February for only £5 each, so if you've got any mates who are regulars at Craven Cottage you might want to get in touch.

Lastly this week, there are two youth matches that look worth watching. Arsenal play Fulham at Barnet's Underhill ground on Tuesday 29 January in the FA Youth Cup while Chelsea take on Sunderland in the U21 Premier League on Sunday 3 February at Brentford's Griffin Park (31 Jan update - this has now been moved to Cobham, behind closed doors). At both it will be £3 for adults and £1 for kids and concessions.

Also, if you're aware of any other deals or promotions at clubs in the capital that I've missed please post them below.

Over the next week there are more than 80 matches taking place in the London area so there's plenty to choose from. There are big London derbies, top of the table clashes and some important cup fixtures 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
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

View London match map 28 January - 3 February 2013 in a larger map

Bad weather may cause 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. Arsenal v Liverpool - two of the biggest names in the Premier League do battle on Wednesday. Neither are as good as the regular trophy-winning sides they once were but they should be able to put on a decent show nonetheless. Both sides will start the match outside the top five which would've been unheard of until fairly recently. Only one place apart in the table, there's little to separate them with their current form fairly similar too. The Gunners have won their last two against the Reds, both at Anfield, but came unstuck when they last met at the Emirates in August 2011. My gut tells me Arsenal might just shade this. (Premier League, 30 Jan, 745pm. Ticket info)

2. Fulham v Manchester United - it's a big week for the Cottagers as they host West Ham United in a derby match on Wednesday before the current league leaders pay them a visit at the weekend. In case you missed it, Fulham travelled to Old Trafford on Saturday for an FA Cup tie and lost 4-1. This, combined with some iffy league form, doesn't bode well for their chances in this one. The west London club's winless streak against Sir Alex Ferguson's side currently stands at seven games which is better than many - their last win was just over three years ago when recorded a solid 3-0 triumph at Craven Cottage. (Premier League, 2 Feb, 530pm. Ticket info)

3. Queens Park Rangers v Manchester City - elsewhere in west London we have the chance to enjoy a visit from the reigning Premier League champions. QPR are currently bottom and scrapping for every point they can get, while City are second and have won six on the trot in all competitions. The hosts hit their latest low on Saturday when they lost 4-2 at home to League One side MK Dons but it was a side packed largely with second-string players. On paper an away win, and possibly a large one, looks certain but QPR have recently beaten Chelsea and drawn with Spurs so there is hope for the strugglers. You should also bear in mind that both matches between the sides last season were classics. Packed full of drama and goals, City edged both 3-2 including THAT match which sealed the title on the final day. (Premier League, 29 Jan, 745pm. Ticket info)

4. Crystal Palace v Charlton Athletic - outside the top flight this is one of the biggest London derbies. Although the Addicks' rivalry with Millwall is bigger there are a few grudges carried over from the 1980s when they ended up groundsharing with Palace at Selhurst Park. Homeless Charlton fans would often be goaded about their misfortune creating a bit of an edge. Before this season there was a three-year break in games between the two as the club from the Valley languished in League One but promotion has ensured the return of the fixture. The Eagles have had a much better season than Charlton so far and edged to victory by a goal to nil back in September. However, the wins have started to dry up for Ian Holloway's side and they could be vulnerable if a spirited Charlton turn up. (Championship, 2 Feb, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Boreham Wood v Hayes & Yeading United - for the last two weeks I've urged you to go and watch The Wood and their games have all been postponed. Well here's another opportunity. From what I remember this is a re-arranged game after another earlier postponement. By Conference South standards I think it's fair to describe this as a derby. Hayes would normally be a TLFG side but their ground is being developed at the moment and they're having to play home games at Woking. Both sides have had decent seasons and are in with a shout of a play-off place. The hosts will start the game in fourth, four places ahead of their opponents but they haven't played a match since 9 January so could be lacking some sharpness. Hayes drew with Bath City on Saturday and are unbeaten in five. (Conference South, 28 Jan, 745pm. Club info)

6. Wealdstone v Lowestoft Town - based on attendances alone, these are two of the Isthmian League's biggest clubs. Last season they met in the play-off semi-finals which Lowestoft won in slightly acrimonious circumstances - consequently a bit of a rivalry has begun to develop. This season the Stones are well on course for at least a play-off spot while their Suffolk opponents have wavered a bit to currently lie ninth, five points off the pace. Wealdstone looked imperious earlier in the season as they went through September, October and November without losing a league match but that run ended in December when they lost 3-0 at Lowestoft. The Trawler Boys also dumped them out of the FA Cup at Grosvenor Vale too so it appears they might be their bogey team. (Isthmian League Premier Division, 2 Feb, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Thamesmead Town v Maldon & Tiptree - of the 266 clubs playing in the top four levels of non-league football, Thamesmead are currently ranked 263rd in this season's attendance league. This seems particularly harsh given that they are playing really well. The coming week is massive for the south-east London club as they entertain third-placed Heybridge Swifts in midweek before Isthmian League Division One North leaders Maldon pay a visit. The Mead, who play very much in the shadow of near neighbours Charlton, are fifth having won four league games on the trot. Eleven points clear at the top, Maldon already look like winning the title but they did let a two-goal lead slip on Saturday as they drew 2-2 at home to struggling Redbridge who had lost five in a row. When the two sides last met in December, Maldon took the honours by a goal to nil. (Isthmian League Division One North, 2 Feb, 3pm. Club info)

8. Epsom & Ewell v Guernsey - two of the best sides in the Combined Counties League go head-to-head on Tuesday night in this league cup match. The Channel Islands club are the big guns in this division with home matches regularly drawing crowds in excess of a thousand. They are also one of the best teams on the pitch with their current sixth place only due to the fact that they've suffered a whopping 14 postponements so far this season. The hosts have been luckier in that regard and have won 16 of their 24 games to climb to second just a point behind leaders Egham Town. If this match does beat the weather, it should provide a barometer of both teams' championship credentials. (Combined Counties League Premier Challenge Cup, 29 Jan, 745pm. Club info)

9. London APSA v Barking - after a season and a bit away, APSA recently made their return to the East End's Terrence McMillan Stadium. This derby match against local rivals Barking on Thursday will be tough for a side who were founded by and are largely, although not exclusively, made up of players from the local Pakistani community. The hosts haven't had a great season while their opponents are very much in the hunt for a top-three finish. They did, however, beat the Blues earlier this month in the reverse league fixture. (Essex Senior League, 31 Jan, 745pm. Club info)

10. Phoenix Sports v Hollands & Blair - last up this week, if you're in the Bexleyheath/Dartford area you could do a lot worse than go to this. The Kent Invicta League's top two clubs meet in the semi-final of the league's Challenge Trophy. The hosts are unbeaten in the title race and won a thriller at H&B's Darland Avenue ground 3-2 earlier in the season. Phoenix also average 3.5 goals a game so it should be a pretty decent match. (Kent Invicta League Challenge Trophy, 2 Feb, 130pm. 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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