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Soccer-Chelsea hail strength in depth after brushing Arsenal aside

Reuters

By William Schomberg

LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Two wins in three days against top English clubs are a sign Chelsea have enough squad depth to compete for honours across the board this season, assistant coach Steve Holland said on Tuesday.

Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-0 to ease into the quarter-finals of the League Cup on Tuesday, barely 48 hours after a dramatic Premier League win over fellow title challengers Manchester City.

Of the players who kicked off for Chelsea against their London rivals at the Emirates Stadium, only one - Gary Cahill - was in the starting line-up for Sunday's match.

While Arsenal also fielded a team featuring few first-choice players, Chelsea were able to draft in a string of top notch internationals.

Spain's Juan Mata and Cesar Azpilicueta made their presence felt with a goal each, while Brazilians David Luiz and Willian also stepped up after starting on the bench on Sunday.

"We do need a squad to compete in the four competitions," Holland told reporters after Chelsea notched up a sixth win in six matches during the month of October, including two in the Champions League.

"What appears to be the starting team that's preferred now won't be the team that is preferred in January which will be different again to the team that is preferred in March, April or May," he added.

"We need everybody and tonight, on the back of Sunday against Manchester City, was great example of players showing they are ready for that challenge."

Wenger, whose team lead the Premier League with Chelsea two points behind them in second place, played down suggestions that his squad lacked similar depth.

The Frenchman pointed to injuries which have sidelined three of his top attacking players - Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlaine and Lukas Podolski.

"If you put them in, I think you have a completely different position in the team." (Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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