The song could mark the third track in as many weeks blocked by “Old Town Road.”
The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming, radio airplay and digital sales data.
The track, released at midnight ET Friday, May 10, could arrive on the chart with more than 40 million in airplay audience, 30 million U.S. streams and 60,000 downloads sold in the week ending May 16, according to industry projections and building Nielsen Music data.
Meanwhile, Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road," featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, should score a seventh week at No. 1 on the Hot 100 with over 80 million U.S. streams, 80 million airplay audience impressions and 40,000 sold.
Sheeran is seeking his seventh Hot 100 top 10 and Bieber should add his 15th. While "Care" marks their first song co-billed as artists, Sheeran co-wrote two Bieber top 10s: "Love Yourself" (No. 1 for two weeks in February 2016) and Major Lazer's "Cold Water," featuring Bieber and MO (No. 2, August 2016).
If "Care" starts at No. 2 on the Hot 100, it would mark the third consecutive week in which a song surged to the runner-up spot below streaming monster "Road." On the latest chart, dated May 18, Shawn Mendes' "If I Can't Have You" bows at No. 2, a week after Taylor Swift's "Me!," featuring Brendon Urie, blasted 100-2 following its first full week of tracking.
The top 10 of the May 25-dated Hot 100 is scheduled to be revealed Monday (May 20), with all charts updating Tuesday (May 21) on Billboard.com.