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Probably not the real deal

Valencia suffered its first loss of the season Wednesday night. Valencia had a surprising start to the season by winning its first two games. No one expected much from Valencia this season with all of their off the field issues, evidenced by the fact that they tried to sell their two marquee players in the off season in order to save money. However, they started off with two strong wins which shouldn't be too surprising for any team with David Villa. The strong start created a little stir and excitement that perhaps Valencia was once again contender. The excitement was short lived after Valencia suffered a 2-2 draw on Sunday to lowly Sporting Gijon. That was followed by a 3-1 loss to Getafe on Wednesday. More importantly, it leaves Barcelona and Real Madrid as the only two undefeated teams left in La Liga.

It is of course far too early to make any conclusions about any particular team or the league in general, but Valencia was the lone bright spot in what has been an otherwise predictable start to the season for the Spanish league. It is hard to see great talent like David Silva and especially David Villa wasted on a club that does not play in the Champions League. A consolation would have been for Valencia to at least challenge in La Liga, despite being practically bankrupt financially.

Again, it is early in the season, but it is already looking like La Liga will be overlooked and overshadowed by the English Premier League. On the European stage everyone wants to know if Barcelona, which only looks improved from last year, will be able to dominate the rest of Europe. People are equally as curious to know if Real Madrid with their bottomless pockets, can actually buy themselves another championship. Unfortunately, there are no other teams left in La Liga. 8-10 years ago Valencia would have challenged for the top spot. Champions League qualifiers Atletico Madrid have had a dismal start in the league. Sevilla is decent again, but they wont be able to challenge the top two. Barcelona and Real should make waves on the european stage and they might make headlines when they clash for El Clasico twice this year, but otherwise, it will be a ho-hum year for La Liga. One can only hope that I'm wrong but it already appears that the gap between the top two and the rest of the league increased instead of decreased.

Contrary to La Liga, the EPL finally has contenders that are looking like legitimate threats to dethrone one of the Big 4. It has taken Man City a couple years, but they are proving that they can buy wins. Tottenham is already falling, but their start at least created story lines. Plus, with the early struggles from Arsenal and Liverpool, the door is at least open that another team might displace one of the four. In the end, the normal four might end up at the top. But at least as of right now, it isn't ridiculous to think that a team like Man City or Aston Villa could claim one of the top spots. Something that already can't be said about La Liga.

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