December 2, 2016 / 3:52 PM / a year ago

Juventus coach Allegri prefers 18-team Serie A

MILAN, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri would like Serie A to be cut from 20 teams to 18, echoing recent comments made by Italian football chief Carlo Tavecchio. “This season, the championship is good and well-balanced,” Allegri told reporters on Friday.

Football Soccer - Juventus v Pescara - Italian Serie A - Juventus stadium, Turin, Italy - 19/11/16 - Juventus' coach Massimiliano Allegri before the match . REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino

“There are only a few points between the top seven teams, it’s competitive and if it was with just 18 teams it would be even better,” he said.

Juventus have dominated Serie A since 2011, winning five titles in a row.

Although they are leading again this season, they have found the going tougher and have lost three times already.

Those losses included Sunday’s embarrassing 3-1 defeat at Genoa which cut their lead over AC Milan and AS Roma to four points.

Serie A was increased from 18 to 20 teams in 2004, but some smaller clubs have struggled to compete.

Frosinone and Carpi went straight back down to Serie B last season and promoted Crotone and Pescara are currently in the bottom three.

Tavecchio, the head of the Italian federation (FIGC), said in September that he wanted fewer teams in the top flight.

“Reducing the number of teams in Serie A from 20 to 18 would raise the league’s technical level, generate new interest and more fans, because when there’s a good show, the people come,” he said.

Meanwhile, Allegri rejected suggestions that Juventus were losing their edge as they attempt a sixth successive title.

“This team can go at 100 kilometres per hour but at the moment we are travelling at cruising speed to make sure we get to the end of the season,” he said.

“It’s impossible to go at full pelt all season. Looking at the standings, we can’t do more than this.”

Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond

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