Leverkusen claimed third place in Germany's top flight last season, behind UEFA Champions League finalists Bayern Munich and Dortmund.
While Bayern have made a superb start to the 2013/14 campaign, winning 11 of 13 games and remaining unbeaten, it is Leverkusen rather than Dortmund who represent the leaders' nearest challengers at present.
Leno acknowledges the primary aim for his side is another top-three finish and automatic qualification for the Champions League group stages.
Yet the 21-year-old believes Leverkusen can stay ahead of Dortmund, who they are set to visit on December 7.
"We want the direct Champions League qualification," Leno told Bild.
"We'll play against Dortmund and have it in hand to consolidate second place and be Bayern's number one fighter, even if I do not really like that term."
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