New Sheriff in Champions League bonanza

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There will be a new Sheriff in the Champions League draw on Thursday, giving Moldova a first entry in the group stage alongside rebel clubs who tried to launch their own elite breakaway.

Sheriff advanced easily with a 0-0 draw at Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday after winning 3-0 in the home leg of their play-off tie last week.

The low-ranked club from Tiraspol in the breakaway region of Transnistria had to get through all four qualifying rounds to reach the groups.

Sheriff have won the Moldovan title in 19 of the past 21 seasons and will finally take their place alongside Europe's most storied teams.

The draw on Thursday in Istanbul includes 10 of the 12 clubs whose owners in April threatened the Champions League's standing by attempting to launch a revel European Super League - including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus who are still UEFA in court for the right to organise a rival competition.

Moldova is typically described as the poorest country in Europe and Sheriff will now earn about 16 million euros ($A26m) in guaranteed prize money from UEFA.

Wealthy Salzburg returned to the group stage with a 4-2 aggregate score against Brondby, adding a 2-1 win in Denmark to victory by the same score in Austria last week.

United States midfielder Brenden Aaronson's 10th-minute goal for Salzburg on Wednesday followed his 90th-minute winner in the first leg.

Shakhtar Donetsk edged past Monaco 3-2 on aggregate in extra time thanks to an unfortuante own goal in the 114th minute.

The ball deflected off Monaco's Ruben Aguilar and looped over the goalkeeper into the net to seal a 2-2 draw on the night in Ukraine after the French side led 2-0 in the first half.

UEFA have abolished the away goals rule which would have taken Monaco through after 90 minutes.

The Champions League's prize money keeps increasing despite the pandemic, with the 32 clubs in the group stage to share some 2 billion euros ($3.24b) this season - the highest-earning club could land 130 million euros ($210m).

Seeding pots for Champions League group stage draw:

Pot 1: Chelsea (England), Villarreal (Spain), Atletico Madrid (Spain), Bayern Munich (Germany), Manchester City (England), Inter Milan (Italy), Lille (France), Sporting (Portugal).

Pot 2: Real Madrid (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Juventus (Italy), Manchester United (England), Paris Saint-Germain (France), Liverpool (England), Sevilla (Spain), Borussia Dortmund (Germany).

Pot 3: Porto (Portugal), Ajax (Netherlands), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), Leipzig (Germany), Salzburg (Austria), Benfica (Portugal), Atalanta (Italy), Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia).

Pot 4: Besiktas (Turkey), Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine), Brugge (Belgium), Young Boys (Switzerland), AC Milan (Italy), Malmo (Sweden), Wolfsburg (Germany), Sheriff (Moldova).

* Zenit cannot be drawn with Dynamo because of a UEFA rule since 2014 keeping Russian and Ukrainian teams apart.

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