George Michael ahead of Niall Horan in race for Number 1 album

It's the battle of the former boyband stars this week as an iconic release by the late great, Wham! frontman George Michael takes on the first solo offering from One Direction's Niall Horan.

George Michael's classic album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 is leading this week's race for the Official Albums Chart Number 1.

To coincide with the screening of Freedom, a new documentary about George's career that the star had been working on before his death on Christmas Day 2016, Listen Without Prejudice was reissued with brand new tracks, plus a recording of George's MTV Unplugged session.

Upon original release in 1990, the album, which features hit singles Freedom ‘90 and Praying For Time, spent a week at the top and now looks set to make a return to Number 1, almost 25,000 combined sales ahead of Niall Horan's solo debut Flicker, which is new at Number 2.

Aside from Niall and George, there are 15 potential new chart entries this week. Rap duo Krept & Konan are on track for two Top 10s with the dual release of mixtapes 7 Days, at Number 5, and 7 Nights, at Number 9, while Jessie Ware eyes a third UK Top 10 with Glasshouse, at 6.

A new issue of the Smiths' 1986 album The Queen Is Dead starts at 8, while veteran pop duo Daryl Hall and John Oates are at 12 with retrospective Timeless Classics, and Florida heavy metal band Trivium are set for a sixth UK Top 40 with The Sin and the Sentence, at 14.

More reissues are heading for the Top 40: Pet Shop Boys' Yes and Elysium land at 16 and 18 respectively, while The Jam's 1977 – their first two albums repackaged with bonus tracks and rarities – starts at 17 at this halfway stage.

ABBA star Benny Andersson's Piano is a high climber, rising 15 slots to land at 21 on today's Update, and Michael Head and the Red Elastic Band could be heading for their first Top 40, with Adios Senor Pussycat at 24.

Future and Young Thug's collaborative mixtape Super Slimey starts at 25, veteran rockers Europe are at 30 with Walk The Earth, and there's a seasonal nip in the air as Michael Bublé's Christmas zooms 79 places to 31.

George Michael's Older, originally released in 1996, returns to the Top 40 at 35, and American rockers Brand New could earn their first Top 40 album at 36 with Science Fiction, which has re-charted following a physical release.

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