COOK DISHES UP - Pundits daft to back Tottenham in Real clash

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We have now reached the final four of the Champions League and what a finale it looks set to be.

One puzzling thing for me going into the last two quarter-finals was the fact that a number of pundfits actually thought that Spurs could still edge past Real Madrid, despite the Spanish side holding a 4-0 lead from the first leg.

Schalke's Raul of Spain celebrates after scoring the opening goal  during the second leg Champions League quarterfinal soccer match between Schalke 04 and Inter Milan in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Wednesday, April 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Schalke's Raul of Spain celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the second leg Champions League quarterfinal soccer match between Schalke 04 and Inter Milan in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Wednesday, April 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Pundits have been doing the same all season though.

One well-known football name has constantly said that Manchester United are having a poor season.

He has said that their players are not in form and that they are struggling.

But if you actually look at the Red Devils’ season, it has been anything but.

They are in the Champions League semi-finals, seven points clear in the Premiership title race and also in the FA Cup semi-final.

Sir Alex Ferguson has said all along that the season is won in the final 10 weeks and that is something that they have proved time and time again. It is all about keeping that consistency to get through.

Should United make the move through to the final of the Champions League then they will clearly be handed their biggest test of the season.

It will come in the shape of the victors in the semi-final between Real Madrid and Barcelona - which in my eyes should probably have been the final of the competition.

The best performance I have seen this eason was when Barca thrashed Real Madrid in La Liga.

I’m sure that result won’t be repeated in the Champions League or in any of the other clashes between the two sides that are coming up in the new few weeks.

If anyone can find a way to stem the Barcelona tide it will be Jose Mourinho.

I can still see it being a Barcelona and Manchester United final, though it won’t be overly shocking to me if Real do edge their way through.

They showed their true quality over the two legs against Spurs, though the first leg was a bit false due to Peter Crouch’s sending off.

It was a bit strange to see £100,000s placed on Spurs to go through past Real, these people were obviously living in dreamland.

Real won at a canter and Mourinho got his tactics spot on to counter Spurs’ dangerous duo of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.

For me it just proved what I have though for some time that Mourinho is comfortably among the top few managers in the world.

To get through to the final, Manchester United must take a step into the unknown when they tackle a Schalke side, who have come from nowhere.

They are only half way up the Bundesliga, but they do have Raul - the Champions League’s top-ever goalscorer - Jefferson Farfan and Christoph Metzelder.

Whatever happens, you can tell that they will be organised front to back and there will be no certainty of United cruising through.

Schalke showed that when they hammered Inter Milan in the last round.

Fersuson has had his eye on it though, just one day after United beat Chelsea in the quarter-finals he was watching Schalke in Germany.

Similarly to Mourinho, if anyone can mastermind a win, Sir Alex can.

The one thing going in United’s favour is that the whole thing seems to be falling into place.

Everyone is coming back in and Ferguson’s men are at full strength approaching the business end of the season and United could win the lot if they maintain their good run of form.

The likes of Antonio Valencia are returning from injury and the team seem to be playing some good football.

The main catalyst of this has been Wayne Rooney’s recent return to form.