The pair are separated by just a couple of points in the table, and victory for Derby would take them above Burnley and into the automatic promotion spots.
The Rams are unbeaten in seven Championship games, winning five of those, and McClaren told the club's official website: "Obviously the last few victories have started people outside the camp talking about the top two again.
"The fact we're right behind Burnley means it is a game that everyone is excited about. It has the makings of a cracking match and it'll be a big test for our team.
"I think by the end of the game at Turf Moor we'll have learnt a lot more about the group and can they 'do it'."
Burnley defeated Derby 3-0 in the reverse fixture back in August.