MADRID, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is confident Cristiano Ronaldo's three-match ban will be reduced to two so he can play in Saturday's La Liga game at home to Elche (1500 GMT).
The Portugal forward has already served two games of the suspension, which was handed down after he was sent off for violent conduct in the 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao on Feb. 2.
Real have exhausted two avenues of appeal and their final chance to get the ban reduced lies with a government sports council (CSD) administrative tribunal which local media reported would meet on Saturday morning to decide the case.
"I hope the decision is taken before (the pre-match talk with the players)," Ancelotti told a news conference on Friday.
"I think he will be able to play simply because it seems incredible to me that he was suspended for three matches for what he did in the Athletic match," added the Italian.
Real, who play their Champions League last 16, first leg at Bundesliga side Schalke 04 on Wednesday, are level on 60 points at the top of La Liga with champions Barcelona and city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Luka Modric is also suspended for the Elche game after picking up a fifth yellow card last weekend and Ancelotti said Asier Illarramendi would take the Croatia midfielder's place in the starting lineup. (Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Clare Lovell)