Both sides go into the fixture in good form. Championship leaders Leicester are unbeaten in five league matches, winning the last four, while the Rams, fourth in the table and seven points behind the Foxes, will arrive at the King Power Stadium having won eight of their last 10 league games.
With the clash being on a Friday night, it presents both clubs with a chance to put pressure on the teams around them ahead of their matches on Saturday, with victory for Leicester opening up a seven-point gap over second-placed Burnley.
Pearson said: "It's a massive game for us because we've worked exceptionally hard to put ourselves in this situation, and it's got the added spice of being a local derby.
"It's an early kick-off compared to the rest of the league programme, so both sides will see it with as an opportunity.
"It'll be interesting because both teams will want to play attacking football, so it'll be fascinating to see who is able to impose themselves on their opponents."
Watch Leicester v Derby, live tonight on Sky Sports 1HD, kick-off 7.45pm