Taylor Swift is on course to achieve her first No 1 album in the UK with Red outselling its nearest rival by more than two copies to one.
The newly-issued Mercury album has sold 50,000 copies in the week so far, according to the Official Charts Company, with two days of trading on Friday and Saturday to go. In the US it is expected to open with more than 1 million sales, matching the achievement of its 2010 predecessor Speak Now, which debuted at No 1 on the Billboard 200 with 1,047,000 copies sold.
In the UK Speak Now peaked at 6, while her highest-charting album in the market to date is Fearless, which reached No 5 in 2008.
Red's nearest rival in the artist albums market so far this week is Virgin act Emeli Sande's Our Version Of Events, which has sold fewer than half the copies of Swift's album. However, Sande's album has already achieved its highest weekly sales this week in nine weeks with week-on-week sales up 270% following her performance last Saturday on Jonathan Ross's ITV1 chat show.
Lawson's Global Talent/Polydor debut Chapman Square is showing up as a new entry at 3 in the week to date, while Mercury act Jake Bugg's self-titled debut is down to 4 having started at 1 last Sunday. Mumford & Sons' Gentlemen Of The Road/Island set Babel drops 2-5.
There are three other brand new albums among the Top 10 sellers behind Red and Chapman Square, courtesy of AATW/Island's Dappy, Roadrunner/Warner's Stone Sour and GMG TV's Daniel O'Donnell.
Syco's Labrinth is set for his first UK No 1 single this weekend with his X Factor appearance last Sunday helping to lift Beneath Your Beautiful featuring Emeli Sande 85-1 in the midweeks. Virgin act Swedish House Mafia's Don't You Worry Child featuring John Martin holds at 2 and the Columbia-handled Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris and Florence Welch drops 1-3. Def Jam/Mercury act Rihanna holds at 4 with Diamonds in the week to date, while RCA act JLS arrive at 5 with Hottest Girl In the World. Alongside Beneath Your Beautiful, Emeli Sande features on another new arrival to the midweek Top 10 with the Virgin-issued Wonder by Naughty Boy on which she is the vocalist new at 10.
The full midweek singles and albums charts are on musicweek.com.