"England are a unsafe team in this competition".
"I'm a little bit anxious about Harry Kane". England made Croatia pay instantly, with Kieran Trippier bending a flawless free kick over the wall and by a diving Danijel Subasic to give the Three Lions an early 1-0 lead and a dream start.
Despite a summer heatwave in England, fans have been urged to wear waistcoats in tribute to those sported by Southgate since the tournament began.
Indeed, this first World Cup meeting between the pair will have a historic outcome. The France '98 semi-finalists will be looking to one of the players of the tournament, Luka Modric, to guide them one step further in Russian Federation.
The confidence coursing through Southgate's squad was apparent before tomorrow's World Cup semi-final showdown as his players maintained they have achieved nothing yet and vowed to be bold as they seek to reach Sunday's final. Croatian players surrounded the ref for a corner kick appeal because it appeared to be deflected off of Kyle Walker's boot, but it was a goal kick.
WORLD CUP HISTORY In England's last semifinal match, Andreas Brehme's 60th-minute shot deflected off an onrushing Paul Parker at the penalty arc and looped over goalkeeper Peter Shilton to put West Germany ahead. England have been very lucky with their draw at this World Cup and their best result of the competition was the 1-0 defeat against Belgium that meant they went into the bottom half of the draw, avoiding Brazil and a few others in the knock-out phase.
"I am perfectly ready and fit and I can say the same for my team-mates. We're really proud in the style that we've played, with the intelligence that we've played, and that we've performed under pressure and dealt with hard situations in games where we've had to wait until the last minute to score, we've had to recover from conceding in last minute, we've been through extra time, penalties". "It may repeat itself once, maybe never". And the Three Lions enter Wednesday's semifinal having lost just two of their last 30 competitive matches (W22, D6) since dropping their first two games at the 2014 World Cup.
They beat Sweden 2-0 on Saturday, before Croatia advanced at the expense of hosts Russian Federation on penalties.
Cüneyt Çakır has managed a World Cup semi-final before, officiating the 2013 match between Netherlands and Argentina.
One of his biggest criticisms came in 2013 when he sent of Manchester United's Nani during a Champions League quarter-final match against Real Madrid. "We´ll repeat that this Sunday", said one supporter, Sebastien, as the crowd chanted: "We´re in the final!"