Sunday, 17 November 2013

TLFG: 18-24 November 2013

Howdy one and all and welcome to TLFG, it's great to have you here.

How was your week? Did you go to any games? Were you let down by England or did you check out a non-league team during the international break?

I've been doing late shifts all week so the answer is no to most of the above - poor me.

Thankfully I now have a week off so I hope to remedy this with a trip to England v Germany on Tuesday at the very least. I'm not expecting much, in fact I'm probably more interested to see what the visitors have to offer given some of the fine players in their squad at the moment. That's not to say I don't want England to win, of course I do, but I doubt I'd be going if it was against someone else.

I touch on it below, but there is a chance of a doubleheader in east London on Saturday thanks to West Ham's game against Chelsea kicking off at 530pm. If you've got tickets for that, you should also have time to see a game at either London Bari or London APSA who both play nearby at 3pm.

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).

Wednesday 5 March, 8pm - Denmark, international friendly, Wembley (on sale 19 Nov)

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

Thursday 12 December, 805pm - Anzhi Makhachkala, Europa League 
Sunday 15 December, 4pm - Liverpool, Premier League
Thursday 26 December, 3pm - West Bromwich Albion, Premier League
Sunday 29 December, 4pm - Stoke City, Premier League 
Saturday 11 January, 3pm - Crystal Palace, Premier League (on sale 21 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
There's not much of note on the ticket deal front this week I'm afraid. However, if you're in town for England v Germany and are looking for things to do in the afternoon then you could watch the respective reserve sides of QPR and Crystal Palace go head-to-head at Rangers' training ground in Harlington. If you're flying in to Heathrow this could actually be quite a good option as the ground is near the airport. It kicks off at 1pm and it's FREE TO GET IN.

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.

There are well 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
Blue pin - Saturday 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. England v Germany - as part of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations, Roy Hodgson's Three Lions welcome arguably their biggest rivals to Wembley on Tuesday. There seems to be a perception that the Germans always get one over on us but the head-to-head record between the countries (with Germany as a unified country) is actually identical. However, it should be noted that England are much more successful away from home and in neutral venues with their last home win coming way back in 1935 at White Hart Lane! Tickets have finally sold out but there's bound to still be some knocking around somewhere if you want to go. (International friendly, Tuesday 19 November, 8pm. Ticket info)

2. Italy v Nigeria - on Monday night at Craven Cottage we have another random international the type of which Fulham's ground has become expert in hosting over the last few years. Euro 2012 finalists against the reigning African champions looks like a pretty good match-up to me. With remaining tickets starting at £25 it could be quite a fun night. (International friendly, Monday 18 November, 745pm. Ticket info)

3. Arsenal v Southampton - with all the internationals out of the way, the Premier League returns on Saturday. These two are possibly the biggest surprise packages of the season so far with both overachieving in most people's eyes. Although the Gunners lost their big match at Manchester United last time out, they're still two points clear at the top. The Saints, who spent a lot of time in the bottom three last season, are currently third with just one league defeat all season. If the Hampshire club win by two goals or more here and Liverpool slip up in their tricky derby game at Everton then they'll almost unthinkably go top! (Premier League, Saturday 23 November, 3pm. Ticket info

4. West Ham United v Chelsea - later on that afternoon we've got a London derby at Upton Park. Both sides badly need the points but for different reasons. The Hammers are only above the relegation zone on goal difference while fourth-placed Chelsea are winless in two and won't want to let Arsenal get any further ahead of them. Given the late kick-off you could do a 'groundhop double' and see a match at either London Bari or London APSA who both have Essex Senior League games in the local area which kick-off at 3pm. (Premier League, Saturday 23 November, 530pm. Ticket info)

5. Queens Park Rangers v Charlton Athletic - there's more London derby action to be enjoyed in Shepherd's Bush. Although it's a Championship game, the scenario is quite similar to the game above - QPR need the points to stay in the title race while the Addicks are trying to avoid falling through the trapdoor into League One. It's hard to believe that five years have elapsed since they last played with the 2-2 draw at The Valley extending Rangers' unbeaten run against Charlton to four games. (Championship, Saturday 23 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Bromley v Havant & Waterlooville - most of London's other Football League clubs are away this week so we next drop down to the Conference South where the capital has produced another team that are doing surprisingly well. Bromley flirted with relegation for most of last season and finished only four points above the drop zone. This time round they are firmly in the hunt for the title and are currently second, two points behind Eastleigh with a game in hand. Havant are a midtable side who haven't won a league game in three attempts but they raised a few eyebrows by beating a highly rated Sutton United team in the FA Trophy on Saturday so the Lillywhites will have to be careful. (Conference South, Saturday 23 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Kingstonian v Lewes - with leaders Maidstone in FA Trophy action on Saturday, the K's 0-0 draw at fellow promotion hopefuls AFC Hornchurch proved to be enough to send them into pole position. Given their Kent rivals have two games in hand, they'll really need to win against the Rooks to make sure they keep up with the pace. Lewes, one of the bigger sides in the Isthmian League, had their shock season last year as they nearly went down. This time they're showing much better form but are still five points off the play-off places so will hope to get something here. (Isthmian League Premier Division, Saturday 23 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Molesey v Epsom & Ewell - it's third versus second in the Combined Counties League on Saturday and it's a bit of a derby too. The Moles are currently third but a midweek win over Windsor could see them leapfrog their opponents. Of the two, the hosts are in better form with 20 goals in an unbeaten six-game run. E&E were previously the team to beat, topping the league in the early weeks but a couple of dodgy results saw them slip down. They've bounced back since then but have been mostly involved in cup competitions. They've also not played for two weeks so will they be fresh or a bit rusty? (Combined Counties League Premier Division, Saturday 23 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. Cray Valley PM v South Park - the team keeping both of the previous two off top spot in the Combined Counties League are South Park who currently have a very healthy seven-point lead. However, on Saturday they didn't have it all their own way as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Southern Counties East League side Cray Valley in the FA Vase. On Wednesday night they replay for a place in the third round as they pursue a spring time trip to Wembley for the final. (FA Vase, Wednesday 20 November, 745pm. Club info)

10. Erith Town v Whyteleafe - although this match is currently between the second and sixth-placed teams, the Leafe could actually be top by now. Given their various cup runs they haven't played a league match since the 24 September and have got four games in hand as a result. Although their league form was impressive up to that point (six wins, one draw and one defeat) they've lost five of the six cup matches they've played since so their form is a bit ropey. Erith are unbeaten in three, scoring 12 in the process so the smart money would appear to be on them. (Southern Counties East League, Saturday 23 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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