Sunday 10 March 2013

TLFG: 11-17 March 2013

Hi there and welcome to TLFG.

I'm a bit pushed for time so I've had to shorten the top 10 section a bit this week so apologies in advance for that.

With my time at a premium I couldn't get to any football this week so instead I decided to experiment with viagogo.

No it's not some trendy new legal high the cool kids are enjoying, but is in fact one of the ticket exchange websites that are now available to fans to trade surplus seats for various live events.

I'd always been a bit wary of using a site like this but with me being unavailable to go to QPR's sold out match against Sunderland and with the club sending various encouraging emails to me to give it a go I duly did.

So last Sunday night I put my seat (I have a season ticket) on sale. Some fans really milk the occasion and can make quite a killing if the conditions are right (some went for £200+ for the Manchester United game two weeks back) and that's up to them but I decided to put mine on for face value (£45) just to try things out and then went to bed.

When I got up in the morning I had an email waiting telling me my ticket had been sold subject to checks of the purchaser. A couple of hours later said checks had been completed and I had sold my seat to a 'QPR fan' for £45 (I got £39.60 after viagogo had taken their cut and VAT had been charged).

Yesterday I told my friends to look out for whoever turned up to see if the service had worked. At half-time I was told no-one had arrived. Had they had a better offer? Were they stuck on a rail replacement bus service? Had a tout bought it and failed to sell it on?

All the questions were answered when another text message arrived about 10 minutes into the second half saying a 'Scandinavian' had turned up so I guess the system worked.

I know some people have serious reservations about such sites, which although they are 100% legal and fully endorsed by clubs, do allow fans to effectively become touts for the day. As I mentioned above, some do charge massive premiums but if people are willing to pay and don't cause trouble once they're in the ground then so be it.

On this site I only list tickets which are on general sale through clubs' box offices but if games are sold out you can often have a look on viagogo or similar sites to see what's available. For really big games you often have to be a member of the home club so there is some kind of control.

Anyway that's enough about my week, let me know your thoughts on such issues, where you've been or where you're going either in the comments section 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).

Wednesday 29 May, 8pm - Republic of Ireland, international friendly, Wembley

Monday 25 March, 730pm - Brazil v Russia, Stamford Bridge

Saturday 25 May - tbc v tbc, Wembley Stadium
Ticket ballot open until 15 March

Thursday 23 May, 730pm - tbc v tbc, Stamford Bridge

Sunday 24 March, 3pm - Wembley Stadium

Nothing currently available

Thursday 14 March, 805pm - Steaua Bucharest, Europa League
Saturday 6 April, 3pm - Sunderland, Premier League (on sale 11 Mar)

Monday 1 April, 8pm - Queens Park Rangers, Premier League

Sunday 7 April, 410pm - Wigan Athletic, Premier League (on sale 14 Mar)

Saturday 16 March, 3pm - Fulham, Premier League
Sunday 7 April, 205pm - Everton, Premier League
Sunday 21 April, 130pm - Manchester City, Premier League

Nothing currently available

Outside the Premier League, Watford have reduced prices for their upcoming Championship game against Burnley on Good Friday 29 March at 3pm.

There are also a few U21 games taking place this week which often provide excellent value for money.

Arsenal and Southampton are renowned for producing fine young players and their two respective sides meet at Barnet's Underhill ground on Monday night (11 Mar) - to make it even more interesting it's FREE TO GET IN.

The Gunners youngsters then travel to Upton Park on Friday (15 Mar) to play West Ham United - I'm not certain if there's a charge for this but it probably won't exceed £3.

Elsewhere in the U21 Premier League, Crystal Palace host Norwich City on Monday (11 Mar) at Selhurst Park - again I'm not certain of the charge but it will be minimal.

Finally, although QPR and Swansea City's development sides don't play at such an elite level as the above, their match has been moved to Loftus Road on Thursday night (14 Mar) and it's FREE TO GET IN there too.

Over the next week there are over 100 matches taking place in the London area so there's plenty to choose from. We've got London derbies, top of the table clashes, relegation 'six-pointers' and some league and county cup matches.

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 11-17 March 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 week's TLFG Top 10 match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch. As mentioned above, this section will be a bit shorter than usual because of time constraints.


1. Chelsea v West Ham United -  a west versus east London derby between clubs whose fans don't get on that brilliantly. Both sides have looked vulnerable recently so although the Blues will start as favourites, it could be close. (Premier League, 17 Mar, 4pm. Ticket info)

2. Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham - a north versus west London derby. There isn't a great rivalry between these two but in Martin Jol, the Cottagers have a former Spurs manager in charge. The hosts are in great form at the moment and their recent record against Fulham is impressive (won seven of their last 10 meetings in all competitions) so they should take another step towards cementing a top four finish here.  (Premier League, 17 Mar, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Charlton Athletic v Millwall - a big south-east London derby. Always a hotly contested match, tickets for this are being tightly controlled so if you're not a member of either you're unlikely to be able to get one. Neither side are in great form at the minute - the Lions were promotion contenders not that long ago, now they're just five points above the relegation zone. A draw seems the most likely outcome. (Championship, 16 Mar, 1230pm. Ticket info)

4. Brentford v Swindon Town - two promotion contenders in League One do battle at Griffin Park on Tuesday night. The Bees have been around the top six for a long time now but are in danger of slipping out of it after losing two in a row. Swindon have lost only one of their last 10 and could move into second if they win here. The hosts haven't done that well against Swindon in recent years but they did beat them earlier in the season so are on for a rare 'double'. (League One, 12 Mar, 745pm. Ticket info)

5. Staines Town v Hayes & Yeading United - a way-out west London derby on the fringe of the TLFG catchment area. The season has pretty much petered out for the visitors as far as promotion is concerned but they're not completely out of the woods when it comes to avoiding relegation. A win at Staines, who are in the bottom three, will probably allay their fears but if they lose it will get a whole lot tighter and the Swans could find themselves in a much healthier position. (Conference South, 16 Mar, 3pm. Club info)

6. Wealdstone v Concord Rangers - the match of the weekend in the Isthmian League as second play third. Only three points separate them at the time of writing and with both facing midweek games, they could be level by the weekend. The Stones managed a draw at leaders Whitehawk on Saturday so failed in their efforts to trim the seven-point gap between them. Although Concord aren't the best supported side in the division, there's a chance the hosts could get their biggest crowd of the season for this. Don't forget - season-ticket holders at Premier League and Football League clubs get in for only £5. (Isthmian League Premier Division, 16 Mar, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Molesey v Epsom & Ewell - there are a load of clubs in this pocket of south-west London and most of them play in the Combined Counties League. I think it's therefore fair to class this as a derby. Both are having decent seasons with Molesey currently seventh and E&E second. Although I've never been, I'm told that the Moles have quite a decent ground too. (Combined Counties League Premier Division, 16 Mar, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Barkingside v Burnham Ramblers - for the second time in recent weeks these two are meeting in a cup competition. This time it's the first leg of the Essex Senior Football League Cup semi-final. The hosts are fifth while Burnham are currently the pride of the county sitting three points clear at the top of the league. Burnham won last time and probably will again. (Essex Senior Football League Cup, 13 Mar, 745pm. Club info)

9. Oxhey Jets v Dunstable Town - the top two in the Spartan South Midlands League meet again for the second time in quick succession. They last played each other two weeks ago in a league match where Oxhey were sadly routed 4-0 at home. The Jets have chance to put this right and salvage some pride in this league cup tie on Tuesday night. Will they do it? Be there and find out. (Spartan South Midlands League Challenge Trophy, 12 Mar, 730pm. Club info)

10. Phoenix Sports v Hollands & Blair - the top two in the Kent Invicta League meet in what could be a title decider, certainly if the hosts win. Phoenix are currently six points clear so victory for them would almost certainly kill off H&B's challenge. The hosts, however, are unbeaten this season so an away win doesn't look too likely. (Kent Invicta League, 16 Mar, 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.

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