Sunday 17 July 2016

TLFG: 18-24 July 2016

By the time you read this I'll hopefully be in Ireland at one of my wife's relative's wedding.

Hence this is a bit of a rush job ahead of a trip to the airport.

Once again, the amount of games to watch has shot up with almost 100 on offer this week so there's no chance of getting bored.

We don't have any Premier League sides to entertain us but plenty of EFL teams will be giving their players a run out in matches all over the region.

As in previous weeks I've listed a few games just beyond the M25 that look good and are easy to get to but there could be others as I haven't had a chance to thoroughly scour the fixture lists of London's near neighbours.

Right, I think that's all I need to write at this stage - I better go and finish my packing.

There are nearly 100 matches in the London area over the next week as pre-season starts to get into full swing.

However, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed - something which often happens at this time of year. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found on 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 drop down menu at the top of the map page to make sure you get all the information. Games are listed from top to bottom in date order so Monday's games (yellow pin) will appear first and Sunday's (white pin) last. Games are also ranked in terms of status so the higher the division, the higher up the list they will appear on each day.

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
Red pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Black pin - Friday fixtures

Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
White pin - Sunday fixtures

In the following section I list, by day, what are in my opinion the most notable games of the week and give some brief reasons for my choice. Check the maps above for kick-off times, ticket info and directions.

Monday 18 July
Hendon v QPR U21 @7pm - after several years in exile, the Greens are now back in a ground of their own and have made this a 'Pay What You Want Game'

Tuesday 19 July
Fulham v Brighton & Hove Albion @745pm  - two Championship clubs meet at the neutral venue of Aldershot Town
Wycombe Wanderers v Brentford @745pm - another interesting all EFL game as a League Two side hosts a Championship one, again just outside London
Boreham Wood v Luton Town @745pm - National League side Boreham Wood take on their fifth professional club in a little over a week in what can also be classed as a derby
Woking v Leyton Orient @745pm - the O's make the short journey outside London to take on National League opponents
Dartford v Millwall @745pm - the Lions, from League One, continue to do the rounds of the local non-league sides producing some eye-catching derbies in the process

Wednesday 20 July
Kingstonian v Sutton United @745pm - these two were divisional rivals until fairly recently but two promotions for the visitors have propelled them into the fifth tier
Staines Town v QPR U21 @730pm - Rangers' youngsters have a hectic schedule of non-league opposition this week, with Ryman League Staines their latest opponents

Thursday 21 July
Thamesmead Town v Welling United @745pm - a south-east London derby at Bayliss Avenue

Friday 22 July
Wycombe Wanderers v QPR @745pm - the fact Chairboys boss Gareth Ainsworth has played and managed both is just one of a number of things connecting these two clubs as is the A40 road which makes this journey just outside London very straightforward
Enfield Town v Brighton & Hove Albion U21 @730pm - if you want to stay inside the M25 then this is the next best option

Saturday 23 July
Brentford v FC Kiaserslautern @3pm - the Bees host London's first foreign visitors of the summer as this German side come to Griffin Park
AFC Wimbledon v Reading @3pm - the Dons' steady rise up the leagues means there's only one division between these two now
Leyton Orient v Charlton Athletic @3pm - hailing from either side of the Thames on the east side of London, this is very much a derby
Barnet v Gillingham @3pm - Martin Allen's side welcome League One opponents from Kent
Crawley Town v Millwall @3pm - the Lions make the short trip to League Two Crawley which is very close to Gatwick airport if you want to fly in especially
Hendon Invitation Cup from 1pm - the Greens host Carshalton Athletic, Farnborough and Slough Town in a tournament which plays out over the weekend

Sunday 24 July
Hendon Invitation Cup from 1pm - depending on Saturday's results, we'll have a third place play-off and final featuring the teams above
Phoenix Sports v Dartford @2pm - south east London derby
Chelsea Ladies v Doncaster Rovers Belles @2pm - FA Women's Super League action at Staines Town

If you're going to see a game, whether you're a local or a visitor, please let me know what you've been up to. 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.

Got any questions about visiting London? Don't hesitate to ask - be they football or more general travel/touristy queries.

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

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