Derby County beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 at the weekend.
Derby’s 1-0 win over Forest has raised hopes that they could make a push for the top two.
However, Pearce feels that Darren Wassall’s side will have to make do with a place in the play-offs this season.
“From what I’m seeing at the moment, I think it’s Burnley and another,” Pearce said, when asked whether Derby still have a chance of making the top two.
“I think Derby will be in the play offs. What they have got to do is to get to the play offs with momentum, and they’ve made a great start by beating Forest.”
Derby’s win over Forest was a hard-fought one, with Marcus Olsson’s late strike proving to be the difference between the two sides.
A run of four wins in eight matches has lifted the Rams up to fifth place in the Championship table, but they have a considerable amount of ground to make up on second placed Brighton & Hove Albion.
Derby are currently seven points behind the top two, and some of their promotion rivals have a game in hand of them.
Derby’s next fixture comes against Cardiff City after the international break on April 2nd.