England has an excellent chance to bring the World Cup trophy back home but they must still beat an excellently talented Croatia outfit on Wednesday, led by Luka Modric, to reach the final in Moscow.
The semi-final against Croatia will be the biggest match in English football for 28 years, since they last reached the semi-finals at Italia 1990. Indeed, some may argue that it is the biggest game since the 1966 final considering how the draw has opened up for them.
Old demons have been exorcised too for the English side. A first World Cup penalty shootout victory in four attempts over Colombia in the last 16 saw belief levels shoot up, and the relatively comfortable nature of their 2-0 win over Sweden in the quarters instilled further confidence in the ability of Southgate's youthful squad to handle the big occasion.
Southgate's side will arrive in Moscow full of confidence having lost just two of their last 30 competitive games and only one of their last six World Cup outings, although if they are to progress then they will have to beat two European nations at a single World Cup for the first time since 1982.
The Three Lions have already broken records galore at this tournament, though, and if they can end the semi-final hoodoo which has seen England lose their last three at major tournaments then they will etch their names even deeper into English football history.
On the other side, Croatia came into this summer's World Cup boasting some of the most talented players at the tournament, but their recent record on the biggest stage left them quite far down the list of potential winners.
Since finishing third in 1998, their first World Cup as an independent nation, Croatia have failed to make it past the group stages, and even missed out on qualification altogether in 2010.
However, the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic have finally come good this summer and, in what may be the trio's final World Cup. They now stand on the brink of the greatest achievement in their nation's footballing history.
Regardless of what happens on Wednesday night, it has already been a World Cup to remember for England. Their tally of 11 goals is their joint-highest ever, alongside 1966, and they have come from five different goalscorers, which is also the joint-most they have ever had at a tournament.
About the Author
Jeet Ghosh is a Football Journalist, living and working in Kolkata with 7 years of experience. He has also worked with Sportzwiki and India.com. Jeet is a sports lover but has special liking for football. He follows the football league’s around the world and is somewhat partial towards Real Madrid.