England manager Roy Hodgson insists that Ukraine are still a threat to England’s World Cup qualification campaign.
Montenegro top Group H, leading England by two points, and will host Hodgson’s men in Podgorica on Tuesday.
But Hodgson is wary of overlooking the Ukrainians, who sit third in the group after a 3-1 win over Poland in Warsaw on Friday.
“I know Ukraine had a bad start but they are a good team,” Hodgson told reporters.
“I would certainly put them up there as one of the serious rivals, especially on the basis of what we saw in the Euros and what they did when they came to Wembley.
“I always thought it was going to be a bit of a dog fight between some of these teams. Montenegro have stolen a march but I don’t really dismiss the others.”
Despite England’s 8-0 thrashing of San Marino on Friday, Montenegro preserved their lead at the top thanks to a narrow 1-0 win in Moldova.
Hodgson added: “Whatever the result in Moldova it would have still been a big game for us on Tuesday.
“Montenegro are one of our serious rivals for the top spot and we must do our best to get a win there.”