"We've been one of the youngest teams in the tournament, the least experienced, but we were never quite sure how far this team could go".
On the other side of the fence, Mosman Park's Western Knights Soccer Club are equally fired up to watch Croatia in action.
"We are really proud with the style of our play, the intelligence of our play and that we have performed under pressure".
"When you have such a solid foundation, you have the basics and clear understanding of what we want to do and achieve, it's not a surprise that it's going well for us".
Before their arrival in Russia, England had not won a knockout game since the 2006 World Cup.
"It has a slightly different feel for me but it's nice to hear people enjoying it again".
The mission? To support England's bid to win a first World Cup since 1966. England will be looking to build on a string of confident performances, while Croatia will wonder if they have anything left in the tank after going to penalty kicks in two straight matches.
"Football's coming home?" said Southgate.
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"They have a lot of quality, they play well, well organised and a physically strong, but we are also aware of our quality".
He said: "The feel of this group of players is very similar to the players we had then".
Two nations who have been waiting years to put right the bitter memories of World Cup semifinal defeats will face each other on Wednesday in Moscow with the chance to finally go one step further.
Right-back Sime Vrsaljko came off in extra-time during Croatia's quarterfinal victory over Russian Federation and faces a race against time to be fit for the match against England tomorrow.
"We have strength and we're united on the pitch", the Barcelona star told FIFA TV.
"[Him and Ivan Rakitic] are two great players, everyone knows that, but hopefully we can do our jobs on Wednesday as a team and individuals and contain them". We'll be at the biggest events bringing you exclusive features and the best interviews.
The manager, formerly the head of elite development and the under-21s coach, had played a key role in the Football Association adopting the England DNA blueprint after the terrible showing at the 2014 World Cup, a strategy which championed best practice in scouting, coaching, development and preparation of young players, and which is reaping rewards.
Strong, mobile, indefatigable and good in the air, Mandzukic looks to make life as hard as possible for the defence, stretching play to allow the likes of Modric the space they need to get into the danger zone around the box.