Little Mix are on course to score their second week at the top of the singles chart with Sweet Melody but face close competition from Ed Sheeran.
Last week, the girl group earned their final number one with Jesy Nelson, who quit the band in December saying the high-profile role had “taken a toll” on her mental health.
Sweet Melody was originally released in October when Nelson was still a member of the X Factor-formed outfit, and features on their sixth studio album Confetti.
But Suffolk singer-songwriter Sheeran could topple them with his surprise release Afterglow, which is behind by only 250 chart sales, according to the Official Charts Company’s first look.
Described by Sheeran as a “Christmas present”, Afterglow was released in December as he took a break from music following the birth of his first child.
Rising rapper CJ looks set to hold on to number three with Whoopty while Irish producer Shane Codd is up two places with Get Out My Head at number four.
Meduza’s Paradise featuring Dermot Kennedy has jumped five slots to number five, potentially becoming Meduza’s second top five hit and Kennedy’s first.
The number one single and album will be announced on BBC Radio 1’s Official Chart with Scott Mills on Friday from 4pm.