Ed Sheeran is in line to score the Christmas number one this year, but is facing stiff competition from Eminem.
The British singer-songwriter’s Perfect, featuring Beyonce, is still set for pole position this Friday after topping the chart last week and taking an early lead for the coveted accolade, the Official Charts Company has said.
On Saturday, early data revealed that Sheeran’s song was the frontrunner in the race for the Christmas number one.
However, updated information reveals that Eminem’s River – on which Sheeran also sings – is hot on the heels of Perfect just days ahead of the reveal of 2017’s festive chart-topper.
The new track is also currently outperforming Sheeran’s Perfect in terms of streams, so it still stands a chance to become this year’s Christmas number one.
Wham! hit Last Christmas is at number three at the midweek point after a campaign was launched to get the festive favourite to the top spot.
The George Michael-penned song is the best-selling track never to reach the chart summit, and the late singer’s former Wham! co-star Andrew Ridgeley has backed the campaign.
Rita Ora’s Anywhere is at number four and Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You rounds off the top five at the mid-way stage of the chart week.
Eminem is set to score a number one album this week too, as his newly-released ninth record Revival is currently leading the pack.
If it does top the charts this week, it will be the US rapper’s eighth UK number one album in a row.
Sheeran’s Divide, which returned to number one last week, is now in second place above Sam Smith’s The Thrill Of It All at number three, Pink’s Beautiful Trauma at number four and Michael Ball and Alfie Boe’s Together Again in fifth place.