The Billboard 200's new top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, July 2.
G-Eazy's "These Things Happen" should also easily debut at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Meanwhile, Sheeran is aiming for a big start of around 200,000 -- which would be the largest debut for a pop album this year, and the fourth-largest bow overall. So far in 2014, only three albums have debuted with more than 200,000 copies. Rock band Coldplay saw its "Ghost Stories" enter with 383,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan -- the largest week of the year overall (debut or otherwise). In second and third place on the debut tally are sets from country singers Eric Church ("The Outsiders," 288,000) and Brantley Gilbert ("Just As I Am," 211,000).
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Other albums aiming for significant debuts on next week's chart include Mastodon's "One More 'Round the Sun" and Phish's "Fuego" -- both heading for around 25,000.
On SoundScan's Building chart (below), Sheeran, G-Eazy and Smith are Nos. 1-3, respectively. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking -- reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week as reported by six major merchants.
As for the rest of the top 10 on the Building Chart: Lana Del Rey's "Ultraviolence" is No. 4, followed by Ab-Soul's new "These Days" at No. 5 and Mastodon at No. 6. (Ab-Soul may not finish the week in the top 10.) The soundtrack to "Frozen" is No. 7, Miranda Lambert's "Platinum" is No. 8, Linkin Park's "The Hunting Party" is No. 9 and Phish is No. 10.
|Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart|
|2||NEW||G-Eazy||"These Things Happen"|
|3||2||Sam Smith||"In the Lonely Hour"|
|4||1||Lana Del Rey||"Ultraviolence"|
|6||NEW||Mastodon||"Once More 'Round the Sun"|
|9||3||Linkin Park||"The Hunting Party"|
|The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.|