Sunday, 10 November 2013

TLFG: 11-17 November 2013

Good day, bonjour, guten tag and welcome to TLFG, it's great to have you here.

For the third time in as many months we have an international break which means if you're in London and had hoped to be entertained by one of the biggest clubs in town then you'll be disappointed.

Yes, this week there are no Premier League or Championship games as all our top players are either off on international duty, putting their feet up at home or getting some winter sun in Dubai.

However, don't be too downhearted because if it's top level players you want then you can still head to Wembley for one of the aforementioned internationals as England host Chile on Friday night. Tickets are still available and although it's only a friendly, you'll get to see a few big names and visit one of the best football stadiums on the planet.

With that game out of the way, you'll have the rest of the week to take in some of London's lower league clubs and it is them I've focused on in the 'TLFG Top 10' further down the page.

Clubs at this level often offer special discounts to get people in on such weekends but I'm not aware of many deals at the moment - please get in touch if your club are doing anything.

GET INVOLVED

As always, please remember to let me know what you've been up to and if you're interested in reviewing a ground within the London area for this blog then get in touch. You might also want to have a go at writing a 'Top Ten' one week. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.


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).

Friday 15 November, 8pm - Chile, international friendly, Wembley 
Tuesday 19 November, 8pm - Germany, international friendly, Wembley 

Monday 18 November, 745pm - International friendly, Craven Cottage

Nothing currently available

Nothing currently available

Tickets are only available to season-ticket holders, members and their guests

Saturday 23 November, 3pm - Swansea City, Premier League
Wednesday 4 December, 8pm - Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League
Sunday 8 December, 130pm - Aston Villa, Premier League
Saturday 21 December, 3pm - Manchester City, Premier League

Sunday 1 December, 12pm - Manchester United, Premier League
Thursday 12 December, 805pm - Anzhi Makhachkala, Europa League (on sale 13 Nov)
Sunday 15 December, 4pm - Liverpool, Premier League
Thursday 26 December, 3pm - West Bromwich Albion, Premier League
Sunday 29 December, 4pm - Stoke City, Premier League (on sale 14 Nov)
Saturday 23 November, 530pm - Chelsea, Premier League
Saturday 30 November, 3pm - Fulham, Premier League
Saturday 14 December, 3pm - Sunderland, Premier League
Thursday 26 December, 3pm - Arsenal, Premier League
Saturday 22 March, 3pm - Manchester United, Premier League
Saturday 5 April, 3pm - Liverpool, Premier League
Saturday 3 May, 3pm - Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League


TICKET DEALS
This week Conference Premier side Barnet are at home twice and to get you to come to both, if you buy a ticket for one of them you get a FREE ticket for the other. It's an even better deal when you consider the first is a derby against Welling United and the second sees them take on league leaders Cambridge United.

On Tuesday night at 7pm there's also FREE ENTRY at Boreham Wood to see Arsenal's youngsters play Aston Villa in the U21 Premier League.

Over the next week or so there's a mini feast of international football to be enjoyed in London. Chile and Germany are both coming to play England in friendlies at Wembley while sandwiched in between there's a very interesting looking game between Euro 2012 finalists Italy and reigning African champions Nigeria at Fulham's Craven Cottage. Tickets for the latter start at just £20 which seems like good value to me.

In the Premier League, at the end of the month, West Ham United have a 'Kids for a Quid' promotion running for their London derby against Fulham.

Finally, Tottenham Hotspur are pricing all adult tickets at £20 for the December visit of Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League. Family tickets are also available.

If you know of any other deals I may have missed or your club is running a promotion let me know.

Despite there being no Premier League or Championship games going on, there are still over 70 matches in the London area this week so there's plenty to choose from whatever your budget.

With bad weather becoming more frequent, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games 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 map page to make sure you get all the information.

Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

MATCH MAP
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


Next up is this week's TLFG match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch. There are often many more games that are worthy of a mention but I simply don't have the time or space to squeeze them all in so add your own in the comments section below.

TLFG TOP 10

1. Leyton Orient v Preston North End - with no Premier League or Championship action this week, the capital's League One teams take centre stage. The pick of the games sees the near invincible O's host fellow promotion contenders Preston. The east London club have only lost one of their 15 league games this season to sit two points clear of Wolves at the top. PNE are 11 points behind but are still in fourth and unbeaten in five in all competitions. (League One, Saturday 16 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

2. AFC Wimbledon v Portsmouth - over at Kingsmeadow we have this League Two clash between two former Premier League teams. The sides are just a point and a place apart in lower midtable so it should be a fairly even contest. Both also bowed out of the FA Cup, which they have both previously won, over the weekend so will be looking to bounce back as soon as possible. The last time I checked, this was approaching a sell out so act fast if you want to go. (League Two, Saturday 16 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Barnet v Cambridge United - the Bees lost 6-0 at Preston in the FA Cup on Saturday at the beginning of what is likely to be a tough week. On Tuesday they welcome fellow London club Welling United to The Hive for a derby before league leaders Cambridge pay a visit on Saturday. Despite their humbling in Lancashire, Barnet are still one of the better sides in the Conference Premier and two wins here should fire them firmly into the top five. Given the late kick-off you might also want to consider a 'groundhop double' with the likes of Harrow Borough, Oxhey Jets, Rayners Lane and Wembley all just about within range. (Conference Premier, Saturday 16 November, 530pm. Ticket info

4. Staines Town v Farnborough - the Swans FA Cup exploits earned them a mention in last week's top 10 and it's another cup fixture which sees them included this week. Although Brentford convincingly ended their chances of getting to Wembley via the FA Cup, they can still get there through the FA Trophy. If you don't know what that is, it's a knockout competition for clubs in the top four levels of the non-league game with the final at the national stadium in the spring. Both these sides play in the Conference South and with grounds only around 13 miles apart this will have a bit of derby feel to it. The last time they met back in September, Staines edged a five-goal thriller by 3-2. (FA Trophy, Saturday 16 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Sutton United v Havant & Waterlooville - there's another all-Conference South tie over at Gander Green Lane. Both sides are probably most famous for their FA Cup adventures from years gone by but they'll hopefully serve up an FA Trophy classic here too. The U's are the undisputed favourites to win here having not lost in nine league games, a run which included a 5-0 away win at Havant back in September.  (FA Trophy, Saturday 16 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Dulwich Hamlet v Concord Rangers - there's more FA Trophy action at Champion Hill where a cupset could be on the cards. Dulwich are currently among the frontrunners in the Isthmian League which Concord got promoted from, against the odds, via the play-offs last season. Although the Essex club are just about keeping their heads above water at the higher level, they are struggling and could come unstuck. This prediction looks even more likely when you consider Dulwich have won 13 of their last 14 home games (10 in a row) in all competitions. (FA Trophy, Saturday 16 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. AFC Hornchurch v Kingstonian - the last team to beat Dulwich at Champion Hill were Hornchurch in August. Unsurprisingly they are now one of only three teams above the south London club in the table with another being Kingstonian. That's why I've gone for this big game at the top of the Isthmian League. The K's are currently a point ahead of the Urchins in second but have played a game more so they really are closely matched. Given leaders Maidstone will be in FA Trophy action on Saturday, the winners will go top. (Isthmian League Premier Division, Saturday 16 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. VCD Athletic v Heybridge Swifts - there's an even more important game in the division below where the top two meet in what is already looking like being a highly significant game. VCD have been the surprise package of the season following their promotion from the Kent League as they have rampaged through their fixture card defeating everyone bar Needham Market who had the temerity to hold them to a 0-0 draw. Consequently they are unbeaten and 14 points clear at the top after only 15 games! Heybridge are their nearest contenders and by normal mortals' standards are having a pretty decent season, doing well in the league and getting to the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup. When you also consider the two sides have banged home 22 goals between them in their last two games it really could be a battle royale! (Isthmian League Division 1 North, Saturday 16 November, 3pm. Club info)

9. Oxhey Jets v Hadleigh United - if it's cup football you want then you'll be pleased to know that it's also an FA Vase weekend. This competition is primarily for teams in the fifth and sixth levels of the non-league game which also has its final at Wembley. Oxhey pushed Dunstable Town for most of last season in the race for the Spartan South Midlands League title. Over the summer they lost star striker Lewis Putman to Wealdstone and they've failed to find a replacement meaning midtable football has ensued. This weekend they welcome current Eastern Counties League leaders Hadleigh for what should be a tough game. The Suffolk side are unbeaten in 14 so will provide formidable opposition. (FA Vase, Saturday 16 November, 3pm. Club info)

10. Enfield 1893 v Norwich United - fifteen miles to the east we have this tie. Enfield 1893 are second in the Essex Senior League at the time of writing while Norwich are seventh in the Eastern Counties. Both sides are proving fairly tough to beat of late but both are also struggling to win with plenty of draws between them. Another close encounter looks likely. (FA Vase, Saturday 16 November, 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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