Sunday, 14 April 2013

TLFG: 15-21 April 2013

Sorry for the later publication time than normal but I've had a busy and interesting old day.

I usually write this on Sunday mornings but today was spent preparing to head off for a meeting/interview with New York Times journalist Sam Borden.

He was researching an article on some of the differences in fan culture between the USA and here and how people decide on who they support, where fan bases for clubs are located etc.

We had an good chat for an hour or so and hopefully it proved fruitful for him as he prepared to head off to Wembley for the Chelsea v Manchester City game he was also covering. He also gave me a bit of feedback which I will look to incorporate in some way soon.

I would also like to point out that this man has taken his groundhopping pretty seriously since arriving in town on Friday morning.

On being asked for a few recommendations of what he could do with his Friday sport-watching time, I offered him several ideas and then added Luton Town v Grimsby Town as an afterthought. It was to Kenilworth Road that he headed so hats off to him!

On Saturday he also took in the first half of London Lions v Amersham Town in the Spartan South Midlands League Division 1 before nipping over to Wembley again for Millwall v Wigan Athletic.

He seems to come over fairly regularly so give him a follow on Twitter and maybe he'll come and check out your club.

The other significant thing to happen to TLFG this week is the appearance of some, hopefully not too intrusive, adverts.

I have resisted and tried to keep things as pure as possible but given the time it takes to put this together, the Mrs is starting to ask questions (especially now a newborn baby is keeping us busy). So I'm under orders to try and make it pay.

The company I've gone for are viagogo who, among other things, allow season-ticket holders at the majority of London's top clubs to re-sell tickets for individual matches that they can't or don't want to attend.

It is fully authorised by the clubs involved and I have used the service to sell a ticket myself.

With fans being able to set their own prices, tickets for big matches can often go for well above face value but conversely you can pick up great deals for less popular games.

Rather than go for the Pay-Per-Click option, I've signed up as a viagogo 'affiliate' which means I get a commission when TLFG directs someone to their site who then buys a ticket.

Right that's enough from me, let me know what you've been up to. Also keep the correspondence coming, I enjoy answering your questions and offering advice if I can.

You can contact TLFG through 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

Saturday 4 May, 3pm - Spennymoor Town v Tunbridge Wells, Wembley

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

Nothing currently available

Friday 19 April, 745pm - Liverpool, FA Youth Cup final

Wednesday 17 April, 8pm - Chelsea, Premier League
Friday 26 April, 7pm - Sunderland, U21 Premier League
Saturday 4 May, 3pm - Reading, Premier League

Saturday 20 April, 3pm - Stoke City, Premier League

Sunday 21 April, 130pm - Manchester City, Premier League
Saturday 4 May, 3pm - Southampton, Premier League
Sunday 19 May, 4pm - Sunderland, Premier League

Saturday 20 April, 3pm - Wigan Athletic, Premier League
Sunday 19 May, 4pm - Reading, Premier League

The teams listed above also have several games coming up which have sold out. The following have tickets available through the viagogo website (click on the banner below):

Chelsea v Swansea City (27 April, 3pm)
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur (date to be confirmed)
Fulham v Arsenal (20 April, 3pm)
West Ham United v Manchester United (17 April, 745pm)
West Ham United v Newcastle United (4 May, 3pm)

It is also well worth checking the viagogo site for cheap tickets as season-ticket holders often offload tickets for well below face value for the not so popular matches - for example you can get a ticket to watch QPR v Stoke City on Saturday 20 April for just £20 which is a discount of over 30%. Some of Chelsea's games are available at less than half price.

Outside the Premier League, Millwall have reduced prices for their upcoming Championship games against Watford (16 April) and Blackburn Rovers (23 April). It's now just £15 for adults and £10 for U16s.

Watching some of the capital's top youth sides in action often provides excellent value for money.

This week sees the decisive second leg of the FA Youth Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Friday 19 April at 745pm.

It's only £5 for adults and £3 for concessions so it could be a fine way to kick-off your weekend. The Blues lead 2-0 after the first leg so are firmly in the driving seat.

If you're aware of any deals taking place at clubs near you please let me know so I can help to promote them.

Over the next week there are well 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 the FA Youth Cup final too.

Details on all of them can be found in 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 left side of the map 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 15-21 April 2013 in a larger map

Sometimes games get postponed so, as always, check with clubs before you travel. If games do get called off, they can sometimes be rearranged for later the same week or the week after so extra matches may get added. Please let me know if any of the details are wrong or missing.

Next up is this week's TLFG match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch. Add your own in the comments section below.


1. Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - after their success at Wembley on Sunday, City return to the capital as they look to sew up second spot. Spurs, it could be argued, are in greater need of the win as they sit in fifth with just goal difference separating them from Chelsea. The smart money must be on the visitors who are in marginally better form and have beaten Tottenham on the last four occasions. (Premier League, 21 April, 130pm. Ticket info)

2. Arsenal v Everton - elsewhere in north London, the Gunners have a game of very similar significance. They are currently in third just a point ahead of Chelsea and Tottenham. The Toffees represent the best of the rest and being just three points off fourth, have very real Champions League ambitions themselves. These games are often very closely fought but Arsene Wenger's side usually have just enough. (Premier League, 16 April, 745pm. Ticket info)

3. Fulham v Chelsea - we've got a west London derby to look forward to on Wednesday. Of all the London clubs in the Premier League, these two are the closest (just over one mile apart). The Cottagers have always lived very much in the shadow of their neighbours. However, they continue to comfortably hold their own in the Premier League and are usually a nut that the Blues find particularly hard to crack. The last five games between them have ended in a draw so this could be a pivotal game in the race for a Champions League spot. Fulham also host Arsenal on Saturday so it's a big week.  (Premier League, 17 April, 8pm. Ticket info)

4. Crystal Palace v Leicester City - two of the promotion contenders in the Championship meet at Selhurst Park on Saturday. Both are in the top eight but are in dreadful form and need wins badly if they are to avoid missing out on the play-offs. The Eagles took the honours in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and might just have enough here. (Championship, 20 April, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Barnet v Wycombe Wanderers - this League Two match has plenty going for it. Although not a London club, Wycombe play just outside the M25 so this has the feel of a derby to it. Not only that but Barnet, managed by Edgar Davids, badly need the points to avoid relegation from the Football League. However, trumping all this is the fact that this is the last ever match to be played by Barnet at their Underhill ground. After over 100 years they will be moving to a new ground next season so this will be an historic and emotional occasion. (League Two, 20 April, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Boreham Wood v Welling United - there's quite a lot riding on this match for both teams. A win for Welling will secure them the Conference South title, while victory for the hosts will keep them in the race for a play-off spot. To be fair, only a complete collapse by the Wings over the next couple of weeks will see them surrender top spot. The Wood, however, really need the points to keep their hopes alive having slipped out of the top five in recent weeks. It's hard to look past the south-east Londoners in this one though - they thumped Boreham Wood 4-0 back in February and drubbed Weston-Super-Mare, another top side, 4-1 on Saturday.  (Conference South, 20 April, 3pm. Club info)

7. Thamesmead Town v Grays Athletic - the top two in the Isthmian Division 1 North meet in the match of the weekend at this level. Grays played the then second-placed team (Maldon & Tiptree) on Saturday, beat them and won the title so many congratulations to them. As a result of that loss, Thamesmead moved up to second after crushing Needham Market 5-0 away. It has been a truly memorable season for the Bayliss Avenue club who despite their success only average crowds of a staggeringly low 54. Grays should boost that figure as they enjoy somewhat of a victory parade. (Isthmian League Division 1 North, 20 April, 3pm. Club info)

8. Erith & Belvedere v Erith Town - there are host of great games in the Kent League this week but the Erith derby is probably the pick of the bunch. E&B are still top of the league and it would seem an injustice if they were not to take the title given how long they seem to have been there. However, if they slip up here, second placed VCD Athletic will leapfrog them if they beat FA Vase finalists Tunbridge Wells on the same day. Erith Town, for their part, are third and still mathematically have a chance of the title too but the current eight-point gap will probably be too much to bridge. A win for the visitors could shake things up considerably. (Kent League, 16 April, 745pm. Club info)

9. Phoenix Sports v Hollands & Blair - a short distance away we have another potential title decider as the top two in the Kent Invicta League do battle. Phoenix have topped the KIL table pretty much from the off and it would be even more unjust if they didn't claim the silverware. However, H&B have mounted a very worthy challenge and six wins on the bounce has left them six points behind with three games to go. Both sides have been tucking away the goals too with Hollands netting 25 in that six-game sequence while Phoenix have chalked up 18 in their last two! Phoenix edged to a 3-2 win in the reverse fixture back in November so  this game could be fun. (Kent Invicta League, 17 April, 745pm. Club info)

10. Chelsea v Liverpool - it got a mention above but I thought I'd put it in again just in case you missed it. Friday night sees the playing of the second leg of the FA Youth Cup final (for U18s) at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea won 2-0 at Anfield last Friday to put them in a commanding position here. If you're in London for the weekend to watch a bit of football then this could be a nice bonus game to get you started. At just £5 adults, £3 concessions it represents great value too. (FA Youth Cup final second leg, 19 April, 745pm. Ticket 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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