Sunday 1 December 2013

TLFG: 2-8 December 2013

Hi there fans of all things football and thanks for giving TLFG a few seconds of your time.

It's been work, work, work this week so there's been no live action for me to enjoy over the last few days.

Consequently I don't really have much to talk about and I'm also pretty short on time so I'll keep this brief.

What I have been doing, though, is starting to prepare the Christmas and New Year double issue of TLFG which really does rival the festive Radio Times for its blockbuster listings. I intend to publish it on 22 December - don't miss it!

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

Wednesday 4 December, 8pm - Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League
Sunday 8 December, 130pm - Aston Villa, Premier League
Saturday 21 December, 3pm - Manchester City, Premier League
Wednesday 1 January, 3pm - West Ham United, Premier League
Saturday 11 January, 3pm - Sunderland, Premier League

Thursday 12 December, 805pm - Anzhi Makhachkala, Europa League 
Wednesday 18 December, 745pm - West Ham United, League Cup
Thursday 26 December, 3pm - West Bromwich Albion, Premier League
Saturday 11 January, 3pm - Crystal Palace, Premier League
Wednesday 29 January, 745pm - Manchester City, Premier League 
Saturday 14 December, 3pm - Sunderland, Premier League
Saturday 28 December, 1245pm - West Brom, 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

I'm not aware of any ticket deals this week but there is good value to be had watching some of the big clubs' reserve and youth teams.

Once again there's some FREE football up at Boreham Wood where Arsenal entertain Sunderland in the U21 Premier League on Monday.

The same night across town, Fulham U21s host Sunderland at the club's Motspur Park training ground. There's a small £3 entry fee for non-members.

Also on Monday night, Tottenham Hotspur U18s take on their Middlesbrough counterparts in the FA Youth Cup. Admission is £5 on the door and the game is being played at Leyton Orient.

At the end of the week you can trek up to Boreham Wood again to see Arsenal v Torquay United in the same competition. I'm not sure if there's an entry fee.

Looking ahead to next week, Tottenham Hotspur are pricing all adult tickets at £20 for the 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).

Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

View London match map 2-8 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. Arsenal v Everton - after another solid win at Cardiff on Saturday, the table-topping Gunners face a week where they play two back-to-back home matches against Hull City and the Toffees. Given their form you'd expect them to see off the Tigers but Roberto Martinez's side will be a much tougher proposition. Fifth at the time of writing and unbeaten in six, they'll hope to at least match the 0-0 draw they recorded at the Emirates last season. (Premier League, Sunday 8 December, 4pm. Ticket info)

2. Crystal Palace v West Ham United - before that we have a derby and relegation crunch match at Selhurst Park. After taking four points from two games, the Palace revival took a step back on Saturday when they lost 1-0 at fellow strugglers Norwich. The Hammers, on the other hand, won their big 'six-pointer' against Fulham by a solid three-goal margin so will be full of optimism coming into this one. (Premier League, Tuesday 3 December, 745pm. Ticket info)

3. Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur - In case you don't know, Fulham have lost five games in a row and are now in the relegation zone three points adrift of safety. However, this could be the moment things begin to change as new manager Rene Meulensteen takes charge for the first time following the sacking of Martin Jol. Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is also walking on thin ice after a four-game winless run but Sunday's 2-2 draw with league champions Manchester United has put him on firmer ground. Plenty to play for. (Premier League, Wednesday 4 December, 8pm. Ticket info

4. Leyton Orient v Walsall - it's FA Cup second round weekend and there's just the one tie in London. It takes place at Brisbane Road the home of League One leaders Leyton Orient. The O's were briefly replaced at the top in midweek by Wolves but Saturday's draw against Sheffield United was enough to return the east Londoners to first place. Walsall are having a solid season and are only four points off a play-off place - they also drew 1-1 with Russell Slade's team earlier in the season. (FA Cup, Saturday 7 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Barnet v Dartford - it's a little over a week since these two last played but a quirk of the Conference fixtures has paired them up again. The promotion-chasing Bees won 2-0 at Princes Park that time and they should win again as Dartford's league form is atrocious with six defeats in a row. They did, however, hold Forest Green to a 1-1 draw in the FA Trophy on Saturday but that just means an energy-sapping midweek replay to negotiate before this one. (Conference Premier, Saturday 7 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Bromley v Farnborough - it's an exciting time to be a Bromley fan as we begin to near the halfway point of the season. After 15 games they sit proudly atop the Conference South, one point ahead of Eastleigh with a game in hand. There's a long way to go but a win here against midtable Farnborough, who have lost their last two, could put them four points clear and might start to get people thinking a title shot is realistic. (Conference South, Saturday 7 December, 3pm. Club info)

7. Enfield Town v Carshalton Athletic - if a gritty relegation dogfight is your cup of tea then this could be the match for you as two of the Isthmian League Premier Division's strugglers clash at Donkey Lane. Personally I'm quite surprised Enfield are in the bottom three but just three wins from 18 tells its own story. Carshalton finished in the bottom two last season but were reprieved after Thurrock fielded in ineligible player and went down in their place. They've won only two of their 18 fixtures and are currently rock bottom. Both sides are already losing touch with the rest and badly need to win. (Isthmian League Premier Division, Saturday 7 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Hanwell Town v Lordswood - if it's cup action you want it's also FA Vase weekend with two of our local clubs hosting ties. The first sees Spartan South Midlands League high-flyers Hanwell welcome Lordswood of the Southern Counties East League. The hosts are having a cracking season and will go eight points clear at the top of the SSML if they win all four of their games in hand. They are also scoring at a huge rate of 3.6 goals a game! The visitors are tonking along nicely enough in midtable in their league but I'd be surprised if they have any joy here. (FA Vase, Saturday 7 December, 3pm. Club info)

9. Haringey Borough v Brantham Athletic - the other game features sides from the Essex Senior and Eastern Counties leagues. Not only are these leagues supposed to be of a parallel standard, these sides are both seventh in their respective divisions so it should be pretty close. Fact - Haringey Borough actually play on White Hart Lane unlike Spurs, their more famous neighbours, who are located just off Tottenham High Road. (FA Vase, Saturday 7 December, 3pm. Club info)

10. Clapton v Barking - I've been looking for an excuse to give the Tons a mention for a while and this east London derby against the Blues is a fine reason. Apart from the closeness of the teams, you should check out this game because Clapton play at the oldest ground in London - the Old Spotted Dog. It's one of my favourites and should be a place of pilgrimage for all football fans visiting the capital. Don't be under any illusion, the ground is very rundown but I've heard improvements have been made as things are beginning to look up for a club that have struggled for a while. The other massive change over the last few months has been the emergence of the Clapton Ultras who have made the club one of the best supported in the league. They're a boisterous and fun bunch by all accounts and have given this blog a lot of support for which I'm very grateful. If you want to go, get in touch with them before the game and I'm sure they'll make you very welcome. (Essex Senior League, Saturday 7 December, 130pm. 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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