Christmas Number 1 2017 update: Ed Sheeran, Eminem and George Michael in close battle

The British singer-songwriter’s own song Perfect is currently leading the charge and, as per bookies’ predictions, is on course to land the festive top spot on Friday – with a rumoured challenge from Adele never materialising.

His closest competition, however, comes from himself: he features on Eminem’s new single River, which is currently No2.

However, the Official Charts Company have pointed out that the latter song is outperforming Perfect on streaming platforms, so it’s very much all to play for over the next few days.

And closely behind at No3 is Wham!, with Last Christmas the centre of a campaign to return George Michael to the top of the charts one year after his death.

Further down, Rita Ora is set to rebound one place to No4 with Anywhere, while Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You slips three to five, after matching its original 1990s peak last week.

Elsewhere on the chart, Big Shaq is up two to No6 with Man’s Not Hot, while 12 other Christmas songs pepper the Top 40: notably the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York at No8, Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas at No16 and Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone at No19.

Over on the album chart, Eminem is pacing towards the summit with Revival, which has already shifted a combined total of 71,000 copies since its release on Friday.

That’s more than 30,000 ahead of Ed Sheeran’s Divide, which has dropped to No2 after returning to the throne last week.

Sam Smith, Pink and Michael Ball and Alfie Boe complete the Top 5.

Last year’s Christmas Number 1 was from Clean Bandit featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie with Rockabye, while Ball and Boe had the festive number one album.

The Christmas chart includes physical and digital sales, plus streams, from 00:00 on Friday (December 15) to 23:59 this coming Thursday.