Sunday 15 December 2013

TLFG: 16-22 December 2013

Hi there one and all and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

Not a lot of football watching has gone on this week as I've been in Ireland for a funeral for most of it and working the rest.

I hope you managed to get out and see something though, let me know if you did.

As we head towards the crucial Christmas period it's good to be able to take stock of a fairly healthy London football scene right now.

The top three divisions in the country are all topped by London clubs, we have play-off contenders in League Two and the Conference Premier and also have the top club in the Conference South. There's a lot to be excited about.

There's some really crucial games this week that could see a few of those teams toppled so make sure you see something.

If you're fast you can even enjoy a Championship doubleheader on Saturday with the top-of-the-table clash betweeen QPR and Leicester at 1215pm and Millwall v Middlesbrough at 530pm. I say act fast because the former is almost sold out and the latter is only £5 to get into - details in the ticket section below.

Personally I'm looking forward to seeing the Dulwich Hamlet v Maidstone United game on Tuesday. These two have been close rivals in the Isthmian League over the last couple of seasons and are both going for back-to-back promotions this year too. Both are well supported so it should be lively.

Aside from that, it's all about getting TLFG's bumper Christmas/New Year double issue together. If you're going to be in London over the festive period, you really will be spoilt for choice.

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.

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

Nothing currently available

Nothing currently available

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

Saturday 21 December, 3pm - Manchester City, Premier League
Wednesday 1 January, 3pm - West Ham United, Premier League
Saturday 11 January, 3pm - Sunderland, Premier League

Wednesday 18 December, 745pm - West Ham United, League Cup
Wednesday 29 January, 745pm - Manchester City, Premier League
Sunday 9 February, 130pm - Everton, Premier League (on sale 19 Dec)
Thursday 26 December, 3pm - Arsenal, Premier League
Saturday 28 December, 1245pm - West Brom, Premier League
Saturday 18 January, 3pm - Newcastle United, 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

The main deal on offer this week is to be had at The Den where it's only £5 to get into Millwall v Middlesbrough in the Championship. Bargain!

The other good thing about this match is its late kick-off time of 530pm which means you could see another game before it. The Championship table-topper between QPR and Leicester at 1215pm would be ideal but there are very few tickets left so be quick if you want one. Alternatively you could take in a Kent Invicta League match at somewhere like Bridon Ropes who start at 2pm.

There's also more FREE FOOTBALL up at Boreham Wood on Monday night where Arsenal entertain Leicester City in the U21 Premier League.

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).

Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures

View London match map 16-22 December 2013 in a larger map

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.

1. Fulham v Manchester City - a game of huge importance at both ends of the Premier League. The Cottagers put on two much-improved displays after the arrival of new boss Rene Muelensteen but took quite a beating at Everton on Saturday to stay in the bottom three. Sadly they will probably still be there after this one as City seem to be scoring for fun (nine in their last two against Bayern Munich and Arsenal) and are now only three points off top spot. It could be a cricket score!  (Premier League, Saturday 21 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

2. Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United - it's League Cup quarter-final time at White Hart Lane on Wednesday where these two London rivals meet. In recent years I'd like to think this match woud've been quite a big priority for both teams but at the moment they may well view it as a distraction as Spurs push for a Champions League place and West Ham scrap to avoid the drop. Consequently both managers will probably field weakened teams but that doesn't mean it'll be a poor game as players look to make their mark. Hopefully we'll get a repeat of the semi-finals between Spurs and Arsenal a few years ago which produced loads of goals. (League Cup, Wednesday 18 December, 745pm. Ticket info)

3. Queens Park Rangers v Leicester City - the game of the weekend in the Championship pits first against third. QPR, Burnley and Leicester have all shared the top spot in recent weeks and after the latter two cancelled each other out on Saturday, Rangers took full advantage with a 2-0 win at Blackpool to go two points clear at the top. The hosts will start as favourites but the Foxes' three-game winless run will come to an end sooner or later and they've only lost on two of their last five visits to Loftus Road. It's anyone's!  (Championship, Saturday 21 December, 1215pm. Ticket info

4. Leyton Orient v Crawley Town - few expected the O's to top the table at any point this season but top it they have, pretty much from day one. When Wolves caught them a few weeks ago, I feared the inevitable but they've fought hard and edged back in front on Saturday with a draw at Bradford. Can they keep going? Will they be top at Christmas? Midtable Crawley, under new manager John Gregory, are next up. Although winless in nine, they came back from 2-0 down to get a draw against in-form Preston this weekend so can't be dismissed. (League One, Saturday 21 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Dagenham & Redbridge v Torquay United - another east London club to be having a better season than expected are the Daggers. After missing relegation from League Two by the skin of their teeth last season, they're currently only a win away from a play-off place. The Gulls also struggled last term and are bottom but Saturday's win over promotion chasing Southend will give them hope of getting something here (League Two, Saturday 21 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Welling United v Wrexham - there's not much happening locally in the Conference this week so this midtable game is as good as it gets. These two really are about as midtable as it's possible to be with the play-off and relegation zones both three or four wins/defeats out of reach. When the sides met back in August, the Welsh side won 2-1. They are also in better form at the moment so may have the edge. (Conference Premier, Saturday 21 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Wealdstone v Maidstone United - Maidstone make two visits to the capital this week and both are Isthmian League blockbusters. The first sees them travel to old rivals Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday (I hope to go to this one) before this game on Saturday. I've gone for this one purely because Wealdstone are higher up the table than Dulwich - just. If you haven't seen the Isthmian Premier table recently, when games in hand are considered, there's nothing between the top five teams. As it stands this is second versus fourth but it could be very different by kick-off. Expect a large crowd for this one too - 1,000 plus wouldn't be a surprise. (Isthmian League Premier Division, Saturday 21 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Walton & Hersham v Peacehaven & Telscombe - in the division below, W&H welcome the current leaders who have won their last three league games scoring 13 goals in the process. Not only are they freescoring, they don't lose too often either with their last defeat coming three months ago against Faversham Town who are top five side themselves. Walton have been a bit inconsistent of late but did draw 2-2 at Peacehaven on the opening day of the season. (Isthmian League Division 1 South, Saturday 21 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. Epsom & Ewell v Windsor - it's third versus second in the Combined Counties in this one. These two were contenders last season, finishing in the top six. Both have upped their games this time but are still playing catch-up to South Park who are seven points clear. With only one point separating them at the moment, it should be close. (Combined Counties League Premier Division, Saturday 21 December, 3pm. Club info)

10. Haringey Borough v Enfield 1893 - it looks like being a tough week for Haringey who welcome the top two in successive games. On Tuesday Great Wakering Rovers pay a visit before north London rivals and league leaders Enfield come to town. Hopefully the derby nature of the game and the fact Haringey won the reverse fixture in October should make it competitive. Strangely this is an Essex Senior League game - strange because neither team are from Essex but that's FA league structuring for you!  (Essex Senior League, Saturday 21 December, 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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