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Date: 9/6/2015

All matches are played at Duhail Sports Hall in Doha, Qatar. 

MKB-MVM Veszprem vs Esporte Clube Taubate 13:00 local time

MKB-MVM Veszprem may be debuting in the IHF Super Globe this year while Esporte Clube Taubate are playing in their third consecutive edition of the tournament, but the odds ahead of this meeting are in favour of the Hungarian club. As runners-up of the VELUX EHF Champions League – behind fellow Super Globe participant FC Barcelona – Veszprem must be considered one of the strongest club teams in the world. 

Taubate coach Marcus Tata is aware of the challenge: 

“It is a very difficult game against a team with very strong offensive power, a team with a very high stature. I consider them as the best of world handball. Against a team like that, our main goal is to try to miss as little as possible. Let's try to match the game in the first half to take the decision for the second.”

Taubate come into the game minus a player who was one of their strongest until he transferred to ASOBAL team Granollers only weeks ago: Henrique Teixeira, which is a blow for the Pan American representative side. 

Veszprem on the other hand are only getting stronger – with a list of big names on their roster such as Hungary right back Laszlo Nagy, VELUX EHF Champions League top scorer for the previous two seasons, Momir Ilic at left back, and Roland Mikler in goal, to which they added Icelandic Aron Parlmarsson and Croatian Ivan Sliskovic during the off-season. 

Füchse Berlin vs Club Africain 15:00 local time

Monday’s match will be the first ever IHF Super Globe game for both Füchse Berlin and Club Africain. 

Though the favour may tend to fall to the European side, who are EHF Cup 2014/15 champions, ahead of the match, Club Africain should not be underestimated. The team have won the Tunisian Handball League 12 times and the Tunisia Handball Cup 18 times. They won the African Handball Cup Winners‘ Cup five times, and raised the trophy at the African Handball Super Cup in 2015. 

Their star player is national team representative Amine Bannour, who has played at the Super Globe court twice before – with Mudhar Club in 2012, scoring 42 goals to finish first on the top scorers list, and in 2014 for Al-Sadd, ranking second on the record of top scorers with a tally of 30 goals. But a star player cannot compete with a strong team, and Berlin have a solid roster. 

Key players including Fredrik Petersen, Petar Nenadic and Fabian Wiede were joined by several newcomers over the summer, including two Croatia team players: Drago Vukovic and defensive specialist Jakov Gojun. 

Berlin have suffered some setbacks in preparation for the 2015 IHF Super Globe – Paul Drux and Mattias Zachrisson both had to undergo surgery on the shoulder and cannot play until the end of the year. 

FC Barcelona vs Al-Ahly Sports Club 17:00 local time

FC Barcelona are 2013 and 2014 IHF Super Globe champions, as well as the current title-holders in the VELUX EHF Champions League, which makes them gold medal favourites even before the first throw-off in Doha. But sport likes surprises, and the Catalan team have been the subject of shock losses before – perhaps Al-Ahly Sports Club can pull off the unexpected. 

Barcelona’s roster is outstanding despite losing Nikola Karabatic over the summer: left back Filip Jicha joins the team this season, adding his name to a list that includes the likes of Danijel Saric, Victor Tomas, Cedric Sorhaindo, Kiril Lazarov and Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson.

Al-Ahly have persistently been one of the top teams in Egyptian and African club handball, but their results have dropped slightly in recently years. The 2015 IHF Super Globe will be their second, after they took home the silver medal in 2007.

Al-Ahly will look to the experience of national team members such as right back Mamdouh Abouebaid and left back Aly Mohamed, both of whom played at the 24th Men’s Handball World Championship in Qatar in January. 

Al-Sadd vs Sydney University Handball Club 20:00 local time 

Al-Sadd and Sydney University Handball Club are both the most successful club teams in their nation and region. Al-Sadd hold a record number of nine trophies in the domestic league, and have won the Asian Club League Handball Championship a total of five times, making them the record holders for most titles in that competition. 

Outside their continent, they were the Handball Club World Cup champions in 2000, and won the 2002 IHF Super Globe. In 2010 they were the IHF Super Globe runners-up, losing the final to BM Ciudad Real. In 2012 they claimed the bronze Super Globe medal, and in 2014 qualified for the final but lost to Barcelona.

Sydney Uni have dominated Australian and Oceania club handball since their region was awarded a place at the IHF Super Globe, winning four consecutive Australian and Oceania titles. The young team are the only amateur side taking to the court in Doha, and are still looking for their first win at this championship. Sydney Uni have shown steady improvement and captain Sebastian Traverso says they are ready for the challenge ahead: 

“With eight new players (from France, Spain, Poland, Denmark and Germany) joining the squad, this preparation campaign was also meant to focus on creating a cohesive group and integrating those new players into the team. I really believe we’ve managed to create something special in a very short amount of time, and this will go a long way in reaching the goals we set ourselves.”