Sunday Morning Open Thread: Stoke City/Arsenal, Liverpool/Manchester City

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 27: Chelsea Football Club owner and businessman Roman Abramovich is seen in the paddock before the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Chelsea start Sunday morning alone atop the table, and they'll finish there as well. There's a pair of Premier League fixtures happening today though, and both involve a team that Chelsea fans should be watching at this early point of the season. The first game is always one of my favorite non-Chelsea fixtures of the season. Arsenal hit the road to play Stoke City, a game which really represents an extreme contrast in styles. There's a bunch of people out there that hate how Stoke play, but I've always enjoyed the fact that they've accepted they'll never be a top club using more traditional tactics and built a squad to be the best at what they do. Aesthetically pleasing as it may not be, Stoke have put together a style that gives everyone out there trouble.

The second game features Liverpool hosting the defending champs, and Manchester City are one of just four teams that hasn't dropped points yet this season. Obviously most Chelsea fans will be hoping for Liverpool to take something away from this fixture, and luckily for us they've generally been a much better side against top clubs than they have against the rest of the league.

There are also a few Chelsea loanees in action today, with Vitesse and Vitoria each potentially featuring a pair of Chelsea youngsters. You'll have the loan report later on to let you know how everyone did this weekend, but if you want to discuss the action as it happens then this would be the thread in which to do it. Sit back, relax, enjoy the fact that we are top of the table, and watch some footie. This is what the weekends are all about, right?

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