Britney Spears' long-awaited musical comeback is comfortably on track to become the top-selling record stateside, unofficial figures have shown.

The troubled singer's latest studio album Blackout – her first since 2003's In the Zone – is forecast to sell 350,000 copies in its first week since going on sale last Tuesday.

The 12-track album is said to have sold 124,000 copies on its first day of release.

But the sales figures pale in comparison to the 600,000-plus that In the Zone – which went on to sell almost three million copies – shifted in its first seven days.

Official Billboard figures will be released on Wednesday, but label Jive Records is confident that Carrie Underwood's reign at the top with Carnival Ride is set to be ended.

Britney, 25, is currently embroiled in an increasingly-bitter custody battle with estranged husband Kevin Federline over the couple's two sons.

Pre-release publicity for Blackout has been conspicuous by its absence, with the singer shying away from interviews and promotional appearances following on from her disastrous live comeback at the MTV Video Music awards.

03/11/2007 18:08:27