Since losing on the road to the Montreal Impact last month, the Houston Dynamo have gone on their best run of the season. Facing the expansion club at home could allow the Dynamo to continue that surge.
Houston looks to extend its home point streak to 19 as the Impact try to avoid a season high-tying fifth consecutive road loss Saturday night.
In the first matchup between these clubs, the Dynamo (8-5-7) fell 4-2 on June 23, yielding their most goals since a 4-3 loss at Kansas City on Sept. 22, 2010.
Since then, the Dynamo's Tally Hall has given up two goals as Houston has gone 3-0-2. His 356-minute shutout streak ended Wednesday on a penalty kick, but the Dynamo defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-1 to improve to 2-0 on a three-game, seven-day homestand.
"At the beginning of the week, we set out to try and get max points, and now we have put ourselves in a good position to do that," midfielder Calen Carr told the Dynamo's official website after scoring a career-best two goals Wednesday.
The Dynamo, who at 6-0-3 are one of two teams without a home loss, have gone 13-0-5 in their last 18 there.
The Impact (7-12-3) have been outscored 10-4 during their road skid, but they're coming off a 2-1 victory over New England on Wednesday. Back from a one-game yellow-card suspension, Sanna Nyassi scored the winner in the 68th minute.
"We understand the importance of (Saturday's) game and we are well prepared," midfielder Felipe told the team's official website. "We know that last game was physical, but we can't worry about them. "We have to make sure we play our game and when we do, we get results."
The Impact, who have surrendered a league-high 39 goals, will be without injured defenders Matteo Ferrari and Nelson Rivas. They could get a lift from the MLS debut of Italian defender Alessandro Nesta, who has traveled with the team to Houston.
"Alessandro's going to help our whole team in terms of his ability to see things, to identify things, to read plays," coach Jesse Marsch said.
That could help against Houston's Brian Ching, the Impact's first expansion pick in November, along with Brad Davis and Will Bruin, tied for third in MLS with 10 goals.
Bruin and Davis found the back of the net last month against Montreal's Donovan Ricketts, with Ching assisting on Bruin's score.
Patrice Bernier, the Impact leader with six goals, scored the final goal of that match on a 68th-minute penalty kick past Hall. Houston played down a man for the final 17 minutes after Adam Moffat earned a red card for taking down Felipe.
Moffat is questionable for Saturday with a right adductor strain.