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POLL-Russian central bank seen cutting rate to 8.25 pct on Friday

* Reuters poll data: reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/cb-polls?RIC=RUCBIRQP

* Regular rate-setting meeting due on Oct. 27

* Central bank to report decision at 1030 GMT

* 16 of 20 analysts expect cut in rates to 8.25 pct

* Annual inflation hit pos-Soviet low of 3 pct in Sept

MOSCOW, Oct 23 (Reuters) - The Russian central bank is expected to lower its key interest rate to 8.25 percent on Friday, in what would be the fifth rate cut so far this year, a Reuters poll showed on Monday.

Sixteen of 20 analysts and economists polled said they expected the central bank to lower the key rate by 25 basis points from the current 8.5 percent.

The rate cut has been priced in by investors after annual consumer inflation slipped to a post-Soviet low of 3.0 percent in September, below the central bank's ultimate target of 4 percent.

Last week, the central bank's monetary policy chief Igor Dmitriev said current market expectations on the key rate matched the central bank's view, adding that an on-hold scenario was unlikely.

Natalia Orlova, chief economist at Alfa Bank, said the central bank would opt for a 25, rather than 50, basis point cut as data showed consumer demand was strong in September, while non-food inflation has picked up.

The central bank has previously identified upside risks for inflation from consumer demand and an increase in wages. The latest slight uptick in inflation expectations also points to a cautious stance on the monetary policy.

Four out of 20 analysts polled by Reuters predicted a 50 basis point cut.

"We now believe that an upfront 50 bps cut on Friday will be followed by a pause in December," Credit Suisse said in a note.

"We think that the CBR will bring forward the easing in order to contain the rouble's gains that may create unnecessary imbalances in the economy."

Expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve may raise rates in December could prompt the Bank of Russia to cut to 8 percent this week then put monetary easing on hold at its next meeting in December, said Evgeniy Koshelev, economist at Rosbank.

Lower rates are needed to make borrowing cheaper and so boost the Russian economy. It is recovering after two years of recession caused by a drop in prices for oil, the country's key export, and Western sanctions imposed over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis.

The central bank has said it aims to lower the key rate to 6.5-7 percent in 2019 after it anchors inflation at 4 percent a year.

(Editing by Catherine Evans)