Since many Americans visit the UK during spring break, and since many of them want to see a soccer game in England, I thought I would take a quick trip through the schedule for that time of year and make some suggestions.
Spring break can be one of the really great times to come over for games; the weather isn’t complete shit, there are a lot of games, and of course the kids aren’t in school!
So let me review it week by week, but first …
A Few Words About Premier League Tickets
Everybody wants tickets to the big Premier League clubs, but that’s hard as hell. Especially assuming you’re a family unit, you basically have two options, since you probably won’t get them from the club: you can go to the illegal market, which I don’t know anything about, or your can buy a hospitality package, which I offer as part of my consulting services.
For smaller clubs, it’s a much different, and easier, ballgame. It’s one of the reasons I recommend you check out some of the lower-league clubs in and around London.
The Schedule Might Not Be What it Says It Is
Funny thing about English football: when they announce the schedule, that’s not really the schedule. (Also, they call it a Fixtures List.) If you are reading this during the month of January 2018, you will notice that over at premierleague.com, everything is listed as happening Saturday at 3 p.m.
Most of those, however, won’t happen Saturday at 3. They will move around to other times on Saturday, or maybe Friday or Sunday or Monday. It’s all because of TV, but it could also be about European competition or cup tournaments. Read all about that here, but the bottom line is that by about early February, it should be set.
First Week of March, 2018
So, starting with the first weekend of March, we have all the leagues — a total of 46 games — happening that weekend. Outside the Premier League, they will almost all be on Saturday, except for the Blackburn Rovers v Wigan game, which would actually be a lot of fun. Also, Crystal Palace hosts Tottenham on Sunday evening.
Premier League highlights would be Manchester City hosting Chelsea and Manchester United visiting Crystal Palace.
Then, on Tuesday the 6th, much of the Championship plays, with the highlight being Wolverhampton — who are having a great year — playing at Leeds United, which is one of my favorite places to see a game.
Otherwise, that Tuesday and Wednesday are Champions League games, with three English clubs at home:
- Liverpool v Porto
- Manchester City v FC Basel
- Tottenham v Juventus
You can get into those, but it’ll cost ya.
Second Week of March, 2018
On the weekend of March 10-11, it’s another full slate of 46 league games. In the Premier League, the biggie is Liverpool and Man U, but I would also check out Palace at Chelsea. Or go nuts and make the trip to Newcastle to see them play Southampton. Great city and easy tickets.
And in the Champions League on the 13th and 14th, you have Man U hosting Sevilla.
There will also be Europa League action on Thursday the 15th, but we don’t yet know who or where.
Third Week of March, 2018
Saturday the 17th is another round of league games — but something to watch here is that this weekend is also the 6th Round of the FA Cup. So if anybody is in that round, their league game for the weekend will be moved to another weekend entirely. We’ll know these matchups on February 19.
The main games of interest in the Premier League that weekend are Arsenal at Leicester City and Newcastle (with their amazing fans) visiting Wembley to play Tottenham.
There are some fun matchups in the Championship, though: Sheffield Wednesday at Leeds in a Yorkshire throwdown, and QPR at Fulham in a West London Derby.
Fourth Week of March, 2018 — International Break
From March 19 to 29, there won’t be any games above League One or League Two, and those only play on Saturday the 24th.
If you’re around London that week, you have Charlton hosting Plymouth Argyle, Crawley Town hosting Cheltenham Town, Stevenage hosting Colchester United, Portsmouth hosting Oxford, and Forest Green Rovers at home — the last being a super-charming Cotswolds village and eco club that is much worth a visit.
Last Weekend in March, 2018
Everybody is back in action this last weekend, with Premier League big games including Man City at Everton and Spurs at Chelsea. Also in London, Arsenal are at home to Stoke, Crystal Palace host Liverpool, and West Ham host Southampton. But think about going down to Brighton to see them play Leicester City.
The Championship mostly plays on Friday the 30th, which is convenient. Millwall are at home to Forest, Brentford has Sheffield Untied in their super charming old West London ground, and Norwich host Fulham in a great city just a couple hours from London.