The Three Lions require six points from their final two Group H fixtures at Wembley, beginning on Friday night, to be sure of reaching next summer's finals in Brazil
Six points from their two games against Branko Brnovic's men and Poland on Tuesday will guarantee top spot in Group H for England, although their position after Friday's fixtures could be strengthened further if Ukraine fail to beat Poland.
Should England lose, Montenegro would move to either first or second in the group, depending on Ukraine's result against Poland, and Hodgson would be under increased pressure to secure a win in their final group clash at Wembley.
|7/1||England are 7/1 with bet365 to beat Montenegro 3-0
In contrast to England's goalless draw in Ukraine in September, Hodgson has a wealth of attacking options to choose from this time around, and Daniel Sturridge is set to return to the side off the back of a blistering start to the season at Liverpool.
The 24-year-old, who has scored six goals in seven Premier League matches this term, has missed England's last four fixtures, but is likely to take the place of Rickie Lambert in attack, despite the Southampton striker scoring two goals in his three appearances under Hodgson.
Elsewhere for England, Leighton Baines is set to get his chance at left-back following the withdrawal of Ashley Cole from the squad due to a rib injury.
Heading into Friday's fixture, Joe Hart's form has been called into question following a series of mistakes during Manchester City's defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Despite the errors, Hodgson insists the 26-year-old will remain as his first-choice goalkeeper, although the England manager will be placed under pressure if Hart delivers a sub-par display against Montenegro.
Montenegro will be without captain Mirko Vucinic, first-choice goalkeeper Mladen Bozovic and defender Marko Basa at Wembley as they look to keep their qualification hopes alive.
Back-up goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic, meanwhile, has barely played since a two-year ban in 2010 for failing to report an approach by match-fixers.
“We miss many players but we have 11 players here, more on the bench and I’m tired of talking about this," said Brnovic.
“We can still get a positive result. Our hearts are big, we are a proud nation and we believe we can get the result we need to reach the World Cup.”