The Reds can move two points clear of Manchester City, who are in FA Cup quarter-final action and would thus have a game in hand albeit the local derby away to United. The 31-year-old Barcelona forward is also the leading scorer in this season's competition with eight goals.
"Arsenal have the best run-in, so I am going to go with Arsenal in third".
GETTY IMAGESLiverpool defender Virgil van Dijk heads home during their win over Bayern Munich
"Because that would mean one of them reaches the semi-final, and I think they are doing so, so well in the competition, it would be fantastic for one of them and their countries".
He admits that playing at home in the second leg could be an advantage, but he was quick to stress the way Manchester United defied the odds against Paris Saint-Germain the previous round.
The two Manchester clubs were also hit by the regulation in 2011-12, when both were drawn at home in the second leg of their round-of-32 Europa League ties.
The Cottagers have been beaten 2-1 in three of their last five home games and with Liverpool looking for their first win in four Premier League away games and not in super fluent attacking form, a repeat looks worth a play at bigger than 9/1. However, rather than flipping a fixture, UEFA moved City's game at home to Porto to the Wednesday while United faced Ajax the following night. The other six have won a combined 21 titles.
The first legs of Juventus vs. Ajax and Barcelona vs.
Liverpool, who lost in last year's final to Real Madrid, will host Porto in the first leg on April 9. Such a run bears comparison with a memorable one he was involved in as a player, again in 1999.
But Mourinho admitted that the prospect of a Barcelona versus Juventus quarterfinal tie - and a mouthwatering match-up of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - would deprive the competition of what would be a special semi-final or final later down the line. "So it is nice that I will now face him for real".
The objective for all is the same: reach the Champions League final in Madrid on 1st June at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.