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Why Paulinho can be an unexpectedly great partner for Lionel Messi

Paulinho landed at Barcelona after the Blaugranas agreed to pay his whopping €40 million release clause to his previous club, Guangzhou Evergrande from the Chinese Super League. After weeks of endless speculation and an even more significant amount of negative opinions from the vast majority of fans and media, it is clear that the Brazilian was going to face plenty of adversity as soon as he landed at the Camp Nou.

While it is obviously still early days in the season, Paulinho is slowly but surely establishing himself not only as a valid player for Barcelona, but also a real contender to break into Ernesto Valverde's starting lineup on a weekly basis. The Brazilian international's two goals in his last two matches have certainly contributed to Barcelona's impressive start to their La Liga campaign and, judging by his effective performance against Eibar, his presence in the team is very likely to remain a constant for the remainder of the season.

As our The Barcelona Podca…
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Can Barcelona overcome the absence of Dembele? Deulofeu golden chance, Paulinho progression and Cruyff [TBPod34]

The Barcelona Podcast duo break down the disheartening Ousmane Dembele injury, provide in-depth analysis of the games against Getafe and Eibar, discuss Paulinho's role as Barca's saviour and so much more! Episode 34 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

Running Order:
What does Ousmane Dembele's injury mean for Barcelona?
Who could get more minutes with Dembele's injury?
Is it time to trust Paulinho?
Who are the 5 Star Players from the 2-1 win over Getafe?
How will Barcelona match up against Eibar?
What does the new stadium mean for Barcelona B and Barcelona Femeni?
Is Agusti Benedito any closer to the vote of no confidence?

If you enjoy the podcast and want to be part of it, why not show your support? Learn more at http://TBPod.link/Patreon -- Moltes gràcies!

What did you think about this episode? Leave a comment via Twitter or Facebook and debate with Francesc, Dan and the rest of our 700,000-strong FC Barcelona community.

You can also subscribe via em…

Lionel Messi thrashes Eibar to extend Barcelona's perfect start in La Liga | Quick Reaction and Player Ratings

Barcelona achieved a comfortable 6-1 victory against Eibar at the Camp Nou in Matchday 5 of La Liga. Although the game was not spectacular, Barca's effectiveness upfront was the decisive factor that unbalanced the game in the Blaugranas' favour.

As it could not be any different, the ever-present Lionel Messi stole the show once again. The Argentinean star continued to excel in the False 9 role that Ernesto Valverde has granted him, taking full advantage of the many fluid partnerships he is now capable to build from his more central position. As surprisingly as it may sound to most, Messi's constant linking with Paulinho was actually one of the highlights of Barca's attacking transitions.

With Luis Suarez remaining an unused substitute, Barcelona's newly arrived manager decided to trust both Denis Suarez and Gerard Deulofeu as wingers and, given what we saw on the pitch, it is hard to disagree with his decision. Denis was influential throughout the whole game, runn…

How can Barcelona replace Dembele? Paulinho steps up, Johan Cruyff stadium and Eibar [TBPod34]

The Barcelona Podcast duo break down the disheartening Ousmane Dembele injury, provide in-depth analysis of the games against Getafe and Eibar, discuss Paulinho's role as Barca's saviour and so much more! Episode 34 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

Running Order:
What does Ousmane Dembele's injury mean for Barcelona?
Who could get more minutes with Dembele's injury?
Is it time to trust Paulinho?
Who are the 5 Star Players from the 2-1 win over Getafe?
How will Barcelona match up against Eibar?
What does the new stadium mean for Barcelona B and Barcelona Femeni?
Is Agusti Benedito any closer to the vote of no confidence?

If you enjoy the podcast and want to be part of it, why not show your support? Learn more at http://TBPod.link/Patreon -- Moltes gràcies!

What did you think about this episode? Leave a comment via Twitter or Facebook and debate with Francesc, Dan and the rest of our 700,000-strong FC Barcelona community.

You can also subscribe via em…

Who's in with Ousmane Dembele out?

Ousmane Dembele has never had an issue with muscular issues in the past. That's the good news. Ernesto Valverde has come out and said that being a speedy player, it may have been his lack of experience in dealing with muscle pain to understand the severity of his condition prior to the tendon actually rupturing in the game against Getafe.

This means that Ernesto Valverde is looking at the same team sans Munir, Douglas, Sergi Samper and Marlon Santos, now all out on loan, that he had the moment that Neymar left for France. With every first team player with the exception of Rafinha currently seen as an option, Valverde will have to use the magical touch he had with Paulinho and Denis Suarez against Getafe to get the best out of his line-ups.

The 20-year-old winger may be out until 2018, so Valverde's plan to showcase the squad's depth will be on full display with games against Eibar, Girona, Sporting CP in the Champions League and Las Palmas all happening within the next tw…

Paulinho rescues uninspired Barcelona | Quick Reaction and Player Ratings

Barcelona left it late to secure the three points when they visited Getafe on Saturday. The hosts were determined to bring the game to Barca from the initial whistle and, thanks to their high pressing and that crucial extra degree of energy applied, they were ultimately unlucky to come away from the game without a single point to show for their sacrifice.

Ernesto Valverde decided to field his preferred starting eleven with the only exception of Sergi Roberto for the in-form Nelson Semedo. The manager's idea was not as effective as expected, however, given the fact that his Barcelona lineup looked tired throughout the game and, what's worse, disappointigly unfocused during large periods.

Fortunately for Cules, Barca decided to step up a gear in the second half, especially after both Denis Suarez and Paulinho were subbed on. An increase of purposeful passing and success when running at defenders resulted in goals from both subsititutes and yet another three points, extending th…

Getafe vs Barcelona | Streaming, Lineups and Podcast Preview

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has only included one change in his starting lineup against Getafe: Sergi Roberto will be deployed as a right-back as the in-form Nelson Semedo takes a well-deserved rest.

Getafe: Guaita; Damián, Arambarri, Cala, Antunes; Djené, Bergara; Fajr, Gaku, Amath; Molina.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Dembélé, Luis Suárez, Messi.


Valverde's decision is surprising, to say the least. Given the huge amount of playing time his regular starters have been granted in recent times, most expected the manager to show more confidence in his squad depth and trust players such as Andre Gomes, Javier Mascherano, Paulinho or Denis Suarez from the initial whistle.

You can watch the Getafe vs Barcelona match on mobile, online or TV via streaming on BEINSports via FuboTV. Guess what? Barcablog readers have access to an EXCLUSIVE discount: A 7-day FREE trial and a 20% discount on FuboLatino for the first…