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Feb 14, 2011

Ancelotti delighted with squad depth

Chelsea skipper John Terry is no longer an automatic selection following the signing of David Luiz, according to manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Press Pass: Fulham v Chelsea preview

• Torres vows to repay fee
• Chelsea warned over Hazard
• Luiz keeps the faith

With Brazil international Luiz due to make his first Chelsea start against Fulham on Monday night, Terry could be rotated out of the defence and with Branislav Ivanovic and the injured Alex also pushing for selection at centre back, all four players will have to take turns on the bench.

"With Luiz we can have more rotation with our players and maintain more fresh defenders,'' said Ancelotti. "Now we have lot of opportunities to choose players, give someone else a rest and to maintain every defender's fitness for the rest of the season.

"When a good player with a lot of skills comes to improve the squad, everyone is happy. Obviously everyone knows that in the top teams there is competition to play. This is normal. It's a good motivation for everyone. We will not have a problem in the centre of defence in the future.''

Ancelotti will also have to juggle his options further up the pitch to incorporate £50million new boy Fernando Torres but he is confident he can find the right attacking balance by trying out some different formations.

The Spain striker's debut against former club Liverpool was hardly a resounding success, with a 1-0 defeat compounded by a disappointing day for an attacking three of Didier Drogba, Torres and Nicolas Anelka, who played behind the front two. Anelka, in particular, struggled to make an impact from his new, deeper position, but Ancelotti is expected to give the trio another chance to gel at Fulham.

There are times when Chelsea will also revert to a lone centre forward with support from both flanks, but the Italian is sure his players have enough quality to make either formation work.

"Now we have a strong squad with David Luiz and Torres. We've improved our ability and we have more power,'' Ancelotti told the club's official website. "The squad was good, but now it is even better. In attack we can choose whether to play with two up front or with the Christmas tree, it depends on the game that we want to play.

"When we play with two strikers Nicolas Anelka can be in the number 10 position, in the hole, but with one striker he can play on the right. Florent Malouda can also play there, and we tried last year having Frank Lampard there at the beginning of the season which was not bad. Malouda can also play in the Christmas tree, but I don't need to think of him as a central midfielder because we have a lot of options there.''

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