Harrison, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Red Bull New York will aim to strengthen its odds of playoff soccer on Saturday when the club welcomes the Houston Dynamo to Red Bull Arena.
New York enters the weekend on 41 points, just one point above the postseason divide.
The club was unable to strengthen its position last time out as it suffered a 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy, snapping New York's four-match unbeaten run.
The Red Bulls were slightly shorthanded in the defeat to the Galaxy as Lloyd Sam and Ambroise Oyongo were sidelined through injury.
But RBNY head coach Mike Petke believes that Sam should be fit in time for Saturday's crucial clash with Houston.
"Lloyd is looking good, and Lloyd is expected, knock on some wood, to be back for this weekend," said Petke in his weekly conference call on Tuesday. "His was a minor thing that we didn't feel too comfortable taking a chance with."
"Oyongo's situation is a bit worse," Petke continued. "He's got what looks to be a decent hamstring injury. His (availability) wasn't even a question for last game. ... You never know. He's young and he could have a heck of a recovery in the next couple days, but I'm planning on not having him again."
New York is certain to be without Jamison Olave after the Colombian picked up his fifth yellow card in the defeat to L.A. on Sunday, leaving Petke to pick between Matt Miazga, Armando and Damien Perrinelle to partner Ibrahim Sekagya in the center of the club's defense.
New York still boasts a quality attack that features superstar Thierry Henry and leading scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Wright-Phillips has bagged five goals against the Dynamo this term, leaving the visitors with plenty of work to do in order to contain the Englishman.
"We've just got to apply a lot of pressure on him, make it difficult for him on the night, that's the best thing we can do - try our best to make sure we don't give him anything too easy," Dynamo defender Kofi Sarkodie told the club's official website. "We're doing better, getting some shutouts, scoring goals so we've just got to keep that going ... I think collectively it's just been a good effort from everybody. Last-minute tackles, guys getting in the box - and we've gotten goals early which I think has helped."
Houston enters the weekend in fine form, riding a five-game unbeaten run in league play that has seen the club take 11 points from a possible 15.
The Dynamo are still alive in the playoff hunt with 36 points from 29 games, but they must pick up three points at Red Bull Arena on Saturday to maintain a realistic shot at locking down a postseason berth.