Ireland number eight Anthony Foley fears England's 'wounded beast' mentality could halt his side's Grand Slam charge on Sunday.
Defeats by Wales and France have extinguished England's RBS 6 Nations title aspirations and left them battling for little more than pride, but Foley warns they are still capable of causing an upset at Lansdowne Road.
He said: "It is so important that we play our own game. We know England will give a great account of themselves - they are under a lot of pressure and facing a great deal of criticism. We are expecting a backlash.
"It is important we don't take a backward step, because they are a wounded beast at the moment. They are the world champions and going to come out with all guns blazing - especially up front."
Ireland were crushed 42-6 by England in the Grand Slam decider in Dublin two years ago, and Foley believes that result indicates the opposition should not be written off.
"You just have to go back two years to see that you don't take England lightly," he said.
"They may have lost a few games this year, but all of them were by very small margins. At times they were in full control during those matches."
One of England's areas of strength is in the back row where Joe Worsley, Martin Corry and Lewis Moody are shaping up to be a formidable unit which could supply two Test Lions this summer.
The glory days of Neil Back, Richard Hill and Lawrence Dallaglio have left them with an impossible act to follow - but Foley believes the existing loose trio have the potential to be recognised as greats in their own right.
He said: "England's back row is very talented. Corry, Moody and Worsley are three tremendous players. They are all very aggressive and abrasive - they don't back away from anything.
"Someone has to fill the shoes of Back, Hill and Dallaglio - and I think those three have the ability to do that. If they are given time to bed in they can do it, because you need to learn to work together in the back row."