Even with a 0-6-8 away record, Houston remains in a favorable position to make the playoffs due to its impressive home form. A 8-3-3 record at Robertson Stadium has been instrumental in helping Houston occupy fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 35 points.
A win at Crew Stadium would bring Houston to within two points of Columbus, which is tied with Sporting Kansas City for first in the East with 40 points.
But a win may be a tall order for the Dynamo, as they have been shut out in back-to-back games for the first time this season. They suffered a 3-0 defeat at Sporting in its most recent outing.
"We started out slow and we said before the game that we really need to meet their pressure and energy early on and I think we came out not doing that and paid for it," said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear.
The Crew are coming off of a couple disappointing defeats of their own, being routed 6-2 at Seattle Sounders FC before losing 4-2 at home to Eastern Conference bottom-feeders Toronto FC.
"We've given up ten goals in the last two games and we need to look into how we've been playing and how we're defending and what we're doing on the field," said Columbus head coach Robert Warzycha. "Basically, we gave Seattle some easy goals and [against Toronto] we did the same."
Despite some uninspiring results of late, Robbie Rogers continues to flourish for the Crew. Rogers recorded his fifth assist in his last six matches, giving him a career high six assists on the year and even earning some call-ups with the U.S. National Team.
Columbus defeated Houston 2-0 when these two clubs met at Robertson Stadium on July 10, with goals coming from Andres Mendoza and Bernardo Anor.
Houston will be without Carlo Costly, who is serving a suspension after picking up a red card in the loss to Sporting, while Emilio Renteria is likely to miss out after suffering a concussion in his side's loss to Toronto.