Eric Clapton and Friends take on Ed Sheeran in this week’s albums race

Eric Clapton And Friends’ The Breeze is set to battle it out with Ed Sheeran’s X in this week’s Number 1 album race.

Ed Sheeran faces competition from Eric Clapton And Friends if he wants to hold onto the Number 1 spot on the UK’s Official Albums Chart this weekend. The 23-year-old singer / songwriter’s latest album, X, clocked up five weeks in pole position on Sunday - the longest consecutive run at Number 1 since Adele’s record-breaking album, 21, set up camp at the chart’s summit in January 2011 for an 11-week stand.

However, The Breeze by Eric Clapton And Friends is set to give Ed a run for his money in this week’s chart race. The album is new in at Number 2 on today’s Official Albums Chart Update, and is trailing X by just 4,500 copies at this midway stage. Organised by Clapton, The Breeze is a tribute to late US singer/songwriter JJ Cale, who passed away last summer, and features collaborations with a whole host of musicians including Dire StraitsMark Knopfler, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, and John Mayer, among others.

Dolly Parton slides one place to Number 3 today with Blue Smoke. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers are set for their highest charting UK album in 23 years with Hypnotic Eye (Number 4), while In The Lonely Hour by Sam Smith (Number 5) rounds off today’s Top 5.

New Entries

Following a string of Top 10 singles, UK girl group Neon Jungle are set for a debut Top 10 album this weekend. The quartet’s debut full-length, Welcome To The Jungle, is new in at Number 6 on today’s midweeks.

Cher Lloyd’s long awaited comeback album, Sorry I’m Late, enters at 12 today, while Canadian band Theory Of A Deadman look set to claim the highest charting UK album of their career with Savages (19).

This week’s new entries are completed by The Struts. The Derby indie rockers’ debut album, Everybody Wants, is a 34 today.

The Official Albums Chart Update Top 40 is as follows. The Official Albums Chart Top 100 will be posted in full, here, on Sunday at 7pm.

1 X ED SHEERAN
2 ERIC CLAPTON & FRIENDS - THE BREEZE ERIC CLAPTON
3 BLUE SMOKE - THE BEST OF DOLLY PARTON
4 HYPNOTIC EYE TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS
5 IN THE LONELY HOUR SAM SMITH
6 WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE NEON JUNGLE
7 WANTED ON VOYAGE GEORGE EZRA
8 GHOST STORIES COLDPLAY
9 NOTHING BUT THE BEAT DAVID GUETTA
10 CAUSTIC LOVE PAOLO NUTINI
11 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER
12 SORRY I'M LATE CHER LLOYD
13 A PERFECT CONTRADICTION PALOMA FAITH
14 IF YOU WAIT LONDON GRAMMAR
15 HALCYON ELLIE GOULDING
16 MEET THE VAMPS VAMPS
17 48:13 KASABIAN
18 ULTRAVIOLENCE LANA DEL REY
19 SAVAGES THEORY OF A DEADMAN
20 + ED SHEERAN
21 THE 1975 1975
22 BORN TO DIE LANA DEL REY
23 SETTLE DISCLOSURE
24 WORLD PEACE IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS MORRISSEY
25 NEW EYES CLEAN BANDIT
26 THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION WHITNEY HOUSTON
27 TROUBLE IN PARADISE LA ROUX
28 THE TAKE OFF AND LANDING OF EVERYTHING ELBOW
29 GIRL PHARRELL WILLIAMS
30 WHAT HAVE WE BECOME PAUL HEATON & JACQUI ABBOTT
31 THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP 2 EMINEM
32 GOING BACK HOME WILKO JOHNSON/ROGER DALTREY
33 TRUE AVICII
34 EVERYBODY WANTS STRUTS
35 JAKE BUGG JAKE BUGG
36 HOMECOMING NICOLA BENEDETTI
37 18 MONTHS CALVIN HARRIS
38 NIGHT VISIONS IMAGINE DRAGONS
39 LIQUID SPIRIT GREGORY PORTER
40 LOVE IN THE FUTURE JOHN LEGEND

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