Dinamo Zagreb starts Champions League qualifying on the road

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Dinamo Zagreb’s path back to the Champions League group stage will start away to Cluj or Floriana in the second qualifying round draw made Monday by UEFA.

Soccer’s disrupted schedule during the coronavirus pandemic means draws and games in qualifying for the 2020-21 Champions League have started before the previous edition resumes Wednesday at the quarterfinals stage.

Dinamo will travel to Romania or Malta for a single-leg game in an empty stadium on Aug. 25 or 26. One year ago, Croatia’s champion advanced through three qualifying rounds then began the group stage beating current quarterfinalist Atalanta 4-0.

In pairings of runners-up in higher-ranked domestic leagues, AZ Alkmaar got a home game against Viktoria Plzeň and Lokomotiva Zagreb will host Rapid Vienna.

PAOK Thessaloniki was drawn at home to Beşiktaş. Though Beşiktaş placed third in the Turkish league, it took runner-up Trabzonspor’s Champions League entry because of a one-season ban for breaking UEFA’s financial monitoring rules.

Switzerland’s champion Young Boys will host Slovan Bratislava or KÍ of the Faroe Islands, who meet next week in the first qualifying round.

If Celtic gets past KR Reykjavík in the first qualifying round it will have another home game, against Ferencváros or Djurgården.

Red Star Belgrade must first beat Europa of Gibraltar to earn a second qualifying round game at Dinamo Tbilisi or Tirana.

The delayed new season will see Champions League qualifying rounds played through September. The 32-team group stage starts in October.

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