Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 25.
You would be hard pushed to find a better value-for-money signing than Leno across the last 12 months, as he prepares to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday.
Leno has been the second busiest Premier League goalkeeper and risen to the challenge.
Making 92 saves, the 30-year-old’s form has played a significant part in Fulham’s unexpected push for a top-six finish.
Leno kept busy
Under Marco Silva, you would not describe Fulham as a cautious or defensive side.
Partly down to personnel limitations at the back, and also courtesy of a desire to outscore the opposition, they are a team that concede plenty of chances.
In open play, they have an Expected Goals Against (xGA) tally of 30.07, currently the highest in the division.
One of the primary reasons they have only let in 21 goals from open play, though, is thanks to the quality of Leno.
Goals prevented/conceded 2022/23
|Player||Goals prevented||xGOT Conceded*||Conceded|
*Expected Goals on Target (xGOT) Conceded
Statistically, Leno has prevented an additional 7.8 goals this season, according to Opta.
When you consider that 16 Premier League 'keepers have a Goals Prevented total that is in minus figures, it shows just how superb he has been.
Saves in box 2022/23
|Player||Saves in box||Player||Saves in box (%)|
Leno has always been a terrific shot-stopper, but this season his reflexes have been at their sharpest.
No other top-flight 'keeper has made as many saves from inside the penalty area and his success rate from close range has been exceptional.
Leno saves v Leicester
Leno’s speed is one of his strongest suits.
He is very fast at sprinting out to attackers to close down angles, or smother the ball, while he reacts quickly to point-blank shots.
In those situations, he is one of the best around.
Leno is particularly strong at making saves low by his feet, especially when springing right.
Proving he has a full repertoire, meanwhile, many of his more difficult saves tend to be off the ground when diving to his left.
Revelling in his role as first-choice at Craven Cottage, there is no doubt Leno is enjoying a fresh lease of life.
It will have hurt Leno to lose his place at Arsenal to Aaron Ramsdale, but his reaction to that setback has been excellent.
Proving he is one of the best goalkeepers in the division, Leno has delivered the best save percentages of his career in English football this season.
Leno save % by season
|Season||Save (%)||Saves in box (%)|
His success under Silva is also providing Leno with the confidence to be more assertive inside his box.
Making 21 catches, he is now one of the most dominant number ones.
Until this point, it has been a wonderful campaign for Fulham, who sit in sixth place, just four points outside the top four.
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s goals have been a factor in their surprise success, but at the other end of the pitch, Leno is just as important.