The Webb Ellis Trophy holders and their opponents are both hovering close to elimination after starting their World Cup campaigns in dismal fashion.
While Samoa - World Cup quarter-finalists in 1995 - are reeling following successive Pool A losses to South Africa and Tonga, England struggled to see off the USA before suffering their tournament record 36-0 defeat against the Springboks.
Samoa will exit the competition if they lose in Nantes this weekend, but England's fate then rests on a Paris meeting with Tonga on Friday week.
Two players - Leicester team-mates Lewis Moody and Alesana Tuilagi - were sent off when England last faced Samoa at Twickenham in November 2005.
And Sheridan said: "Discipline is always an area that the coaches stress, and as players we know how to keep our discipline.
"We cannot afford to lose people with yellow cards and all that business."
Sheridan's principal task will be to spearhead another powerful England scrummaging performance - the one bright light amid a dismal collapse against South Africa.
He added: "We were very pleased with the scrum against South Africa.
"We managed to get three turnovers against them, but that's something we need to take into our next game and just be happy with the way things went against South Africa, otherwise things can become a bit complacent in one area when you're trying to concentrate on another.
"We will have to wait and see how it pans out on Saturday.
"I always find if you start talking it up in terms of scrummaging, it always comes back and bites you somewhere.
"Just because of previous games and how they've faired in the scrum before, we will be taking it no less lightly than any other team.
"There has obviously been quite a bit of talk about tactics. We don't want to give them the ball and let some of their big runners have a 30-yard run-up.
"So we need to close down their space. As I said, all of their guys seem to be able to run extremely well with the ball and they can be dangerous in open play, so we want to keep the ball away from them."