The stage is set for one of the closest races for Number 1 in recent memory, as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Foo Fighters gear up for a tough battle on the Official Albums Chart.

As it stands at the midweek mark, fewer than 200 chart units currently separate Noel’s Council Skies (1) and the Foos’ But Here We Are (2) from the top spot.

There’s certainly a lot at stake for the two acts in the running this week – Council Skies would extend Noel Gallagher’s unbroken string of 10 consecutive Number 1 albums, both as a member of Oasis and with High Flying Birds, meaning he’s topped the Official Albums Chart with every studio album he’s ever released.

But Here We Are is also one of the most important releases of the Foo Fighters’ storied career, being their first full-length LP since the death of their drummer, Taylor Hawkins, last year. Lead by Dave Grohl, the American rockers have five Number 1 albums to their name including 2021’s Medicine At Midnight.

An all-new Top 4 could be completed on Friday by Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Hana (3) - the English pop queen’s prospective fifth Top 10 record (with the potential to be her highest peaking since 2002 debut Read My Lips hit Number 2) - and Bob Dylan’s landmark 40th album Shadow Kingdom (4), comprised of re-recorded songs from early in his career.

Three more releases set for Top 10 debuts this week come from Louise’s 30-year career retrospective Greatest Hits (6), Jake Shears’s second solo record Last Man Dancing (7), and US heavy metal outfit Avenged Sevenfold’s eighth studio album Life Is But A Dream... (8).

Outside the Top 10, Nashville-based rock band Rival Sons could score a fifth Top 40 record with Darkfighter (12), Wrexham indie-pop outfit Royston Club are on the way to make their Official Chart debut with Shaking Hips and Crashing Cars (16), and English singer Baxter Dury prepares to enter the Top 40 for the first time with I Thought I Was Better Than You (17).

Further down, Buckcherry are on track to claim the highest-charting album of their career with Vol 10 (20), while close behind is Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters’ physical release of his 2022 solo collection The Lockdown Sessions (21).

American punk band Rancid’s Tomorrow Never Comes (32) could become their third Top 40 collection, and our last new entry of the week could belong to K-pop boy band Stray Kids, with their fourth studio album 5-Star (34) potentially becoming their first UK Top 40 entry.