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Crystal Palace have found themselves at the centre of a ‘spy’ row after Cardiff City claimed their starting team was leaked to the Eagles 24 hours before the sides met last weekend.
Palace won the game 3-0 to give their survival hopes a massive boost while the defeat left second-from-bottom Cardiff staring at the abyss.
Cardiff have reportedly lodged a complaint with the FA, after claiming Crystal Palace’s sporting director Ian Moody – a former Cardiff employee – used his contacts at the club to attempt to find out which players would start the match for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Cardiff owner Vincent Tan has history with Moody after firing him from his role as head of recruitment at the Welsh side back in the autumn. He went on to join Palace weeks later.
Palace moved seven points clear of the relegation zone after the win over Cardiff and they head into Saturday’s game at home to Aston Villa – the side immediately above them in the table – knowing that another three points would all but mathematically secure their top flight status.
Tony Pulis has worked wonders since arriving at Selhurst Park, his tactical nous making the Eagles extremely hard to break down.
In their last five games they have only conceded one goal and that record is unlikely to suffer against a Villa side that has failed to score more than one goal in their last four outings.
Villa are also missing Belgium striker Christian Benteke who ruptured his Achilles in training last week. In the match odds Palace are 2.09, Villa 3.64 and the draw 3.16.