Manchester City have refused a request to move back their derby fixture against Manchester United next month.
Pearce and Ferguson will go head-to-head on 5 May
United are scheduled to face City on Saturday 5 May at Eastlands, less than three days after the Champions League semi-final, second leg in Milan.
The Reds, who are also in the hunt for the Premiership title, asked to delay the derby game until Sunday 6 May.
However, City rejected the request and insist the game must go ahead as planned, with a 1245 (BST) kick-off.
Extra spice had been added to the Manchester derby when it appeared United would clinch the Premiership title with victory at Eastlands.
However, that scenario is now an outside prospect as United would have to beat Everton at Goodison this weekend, while Chelsea would need to lose their home game against Bolton.
That would leave Sir Alex Ferguson's side holding a six-point advantage, knowing a win over Stuart Pearce's City would effectively seal the championship.
United won this season's reverse fixture in December at Old Trafford 3-1, with goals from Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha and Cristiano Ronaldo.