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Won their 5th game on the bounce today and they apparently had our team exactly right hours before kick off, possibly much sooner. Added in with the Cardiff stuff, something very fishy is going on down their IMO.

 

Pulis may be doing a great job at the minute, but with the recent allegations, I do find myself wondering if their sudden upturn in form is anything to do with said allegations.

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Spygate II: How DID Crystal Palace know Aston Villa's exact lineup and formation before crunch game?

VILLA_REPORT-3434226.jpg

Despite four changes to the team and a change in formation, Palace players had a dossier with the EXACT lineup of the Villa team

Crystal Palace have been plunged into another ­potential spy storm, with evidence that Aston Villa’s team was known to them before the two sides met at Selhurst Park last weekend.

Villa chiefs were stunned to hear that a visitor to the Palace dressing room photographed an information sheet, showing the correct Villa line-up – which included four changes and a totally revamped playing ­formation – two-and-a-half hours before kick-off.

The sheets, positioned beneath the pegs of each Palace player, included detailed scouting reports on each Villa player, showing that the visitors would change from their usual 4-4-1-1 ­formation to a 3-5-2 system.

It also correctly predicted that Ciaran Clark, Fabian Delph, Gabby Agbonlahor and Karim El Ahmadi would replace Joe Bennett, Leandro Bacuna, Marc Albrighton and Andreas Weimann.

All the detail was spot on and Palace won 1-0, lifting them clear of the ­relegation battle and keeping Aston Villa in danger of the drop.

Palace had already been reported to the Premier League by Cardiff, over the alleged leaking of the Bluebirds’ team to Eagles sporting director Iain Moody, before Tony Pulis’ men beat the Welsh club 3-0, the week before the Villa game, on April 5. Cardiff are demanding that the result of that match should be scrapped and the fixture replayed.

Palace boss Pulis will meet Premier League officials to discuss the matter on Tuesday, with Cardiff claiming League rules were broken.

Pulis strenuously denies the ­allegations.

Yet, Sunday Mirror Sport can reveal the astonishing lack of security, which allowed around 40 match-day sponsors and their guests to view the Villa team dossiers, while they were given ­pre-match tours of Selhurst Park.

Our source was able to take a snap (above) of the scouting reports on Villa’s players, set out in their new 3-5-2 formation, at 12.28pm. The official team sheet would have been handed in – more than 90 minutes later – at 2pm.

TRAINING_COMPLEX-3434225.jpg

The detailed nature of the team news suggests Palace were likely to have been aware of it before match day.

The team line-up showed that Villa would make the significant change of playing with three central defenders and wing-backs, rather than their usual flat back four, as well as four changes in personnel from the previous week’s home defeat by Fulham.

Palace were happy to allow visitors to take photos in the dressing room, with our insider noticing the team information, which had a full breakdown of the Villa team. Our source said: “The sheets were not hidden in any way and there seemed to be no problem reading them or even photographing them. I was gobsmacked when I saw what had been written about each player.

“The most amazing thing, though, was the fact that the formation and team line-up was spot on, which I thought was very strange, considering Villa ­subsequently made four changes from the previous week, and played 3-5-2 rather than 4-4-1-1.

“Not many expected Weimann and Albrighton to be on the bench, and Lowton to play at right wing-back, but Villa lined up exactly as we had seen it on the paper in the dressing room.

“It just seemed incredible to me that we had been in the dressing room and had seen the exact Villa line-up two-and-a-half hours before the game started.”

The scout, who compiled Pulis’ report, included several damning assessments of Villa players. We’ve summarised them in our graphic above.

A Villa spokesman said: “The matter has been brought to the attention of the club. We have no further comment.”

Villa insist that their first team train in a secluded area of the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground, in a rural area near The Belfry golf course, outside Birmingham. It is also believed they are happy with security around the facility.

They say it would be virtually ­impossible for a spy to get on to the premises to scout on manager Paul Lambert’s preparations for a vital ­relegation showdown.

So, there is mystery surrounding how Palace so accurately set out the Villa line-up, with the Midlands club concerned about possible leaks.

Villa boss Paul Lambert has suffered a tumultuous week, on the back of four straight defeats, with his long-term assistant Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa being suspended. Those suspensions were linked to allegations of bullying, not the alleged leak.

There is also no direct link between Palace seemingly knowing the Villa side in advance and those allegations made by Cardiff against the south London club.

But Cardiff have accused Palace of breaking Premier League rules B15, B16 and B17 – with B17 potentially the most serious, as it states that no club shall disclose or divulge ­confidential ­information. Cardiff claim Palace’s actions were “an attempt to obtain a sporting ­advantage”.

The Premier League have confirmed they are investigating Cardiff’s complaint, but it is uncertain what punishment could be meted out if they are found to have broken any League rules.

We offered Crystal Palace the chance to respond. They declined to comment.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/spygate-ii-how-crystal-palace-3434213
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The plot thickens. I wasn't aware Palace were being accused of cheating before any other matches. Keep hearing Pulis mentioned for manager of the year. Saw him interviewed about the Cardiff allegations and he made no denials. He knew, the cheating, baseball cap-wearing, naked headbutting clearing in the woods.

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Its more than just guess work to correctly predict the formation AND the starting 11, including injurys that no villa fan knew about, its cheating. This could get interesting.

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I suspect there is a lot if espionage with football

This is what the pundits keep saying on SSN, very similar to how we should expect players to go down and look for penalties. Basically we should accept cheating, better yet embrace cheating, and just get on with it.

Pulis can do one, this is the second time in a matter of weeks that it has happened. The leaks are clearly coming from within the clubs they are facing but something must be enticing these leakers, especially as they are surely people close to the managers and teams involved.

My guess would be that either Culverhouse or Karsa leaked our team, which is rumoured to be one of the reasons for their suspension, with Palace more than likely paying a tidy sum for such information.

Of course, knowing this information alone isn't going to win you a game, but actually obtaining such information must give some influence else they would not even bother.

Dock them points.

Edited by samjp26
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If you have staff within club willing to leak key information for money to influence a result then what else will they take money for to influence a result?

 

Substitutions? Tactics? It's a slippery slope. Let's hope that's not the reason for the suspensions. 

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HH was on here leaking teams before. You don't really need a spy..

 

Yes too much has been made of this.  This type of leaking goes on all the time. Has done for years.

Edited by PaulC
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VILLA_REPORT-3434226.jpg

 

Vlaar and Clark's scouting reports are identical word for word.

 

Smells like...

That was a mistake by the Mirror. If you read the original copy (bottom left) it's different. It is much less complimentary about Clark :P

Edited by LondonLax
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HH was on here leaking teams before. You don't really need a spy..

 

Yes too much has been made of this.  This type of leaking goes on all the time. Has done for years.

 

 

This is the same argument Gary Neville put forward when he claimed kids should be taught to dive, and it's just as ludicrous. They've broken Premier League rules. Plain and simple, it's cheating. And just because everyone's cheating, doesn't mean it's OK.

 

It's one of the things I hate about football nowadays, everyone just accepts cheating and does nothing about it. Look at Rugby. A couple years ago, eye gouging started to become a real problem, the IRB didn't like it and wanted to stamp it out. So what did they do? They started handing out heavy bans, about 17 in 3 years with one being for 70 weeks, for anyone caught doing it, and now it has virtually disappeared from the professional game. The last ban was in January for a 7s player, but before that? You'd have to go all the way back to 2011. As I say, virtually gone.

 

This is why I'd like to see the FA throw the book at Palace. Not just because it might positively affect us somehow, but because the point of the governing bodies is to stamp out cheating of any kind and actual govern the sport.

 

But what am I talking about here, this is football and the FA. Palace will probably be fined £10,000 or something, and then everyone will forget about it and go back to calling football "the beautiful game" despite the rampant cheating that is incessant in the game that everybody turns a blind eye to because "Everyone's doing it".

Edited by MessiWillSignForVilla
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