Antonio Conte labelled Mohamed Salah "one of the best players in the world" ahead of the clash between Tottenham and Liverpool on Sunday.

Liverpool are just a point away from Premier League leaders Manchester City, with Salah's fine form leading the way for Jurgen Klopp's side once again.

The Egypt international was on target in Thursday's 3-1 win over Newcastle United, equalling Jamie Vardy's Premier League record for scoring or assisting in 15 consecutive games.

Salah has 24 direct goal involvements in the league this season (15 goals, nine assists), only former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer in 1994-95 has ever tallied more before Christmas in the competition (25 – 16 goals, nine assists).

Conte, who crossed paths with Salah when the forward was playing for Roma, said he is expecting a tough task against Liverpool as he heaped praise on the quality of the 29-year-old.

"I think he's one of the best players in the world," Conte told reporters when asked about Salah. "During the game, we have seen he scores or makes assists. He's a very decisive player.

"Every time he has the ball he's a danger. He has improved a lot, I remember him when he played in Italy.

"Now he's improved in an incredible way. Now I think he's one of the best players in the world and in every game he's very decisive."

Mohamed Salah Liverpool

Spurs have not played since a 3-0 win over Norwich City on December 5, with fixtures against Rennes, Brighton and Hove Albion and Leicester City all cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the club.

However, Conte's side remain within touching distance of the Champions League spots, while boasting three games in hand on most of the teams around them.

But the former Inter head coach explained keeping morale up has been a difficult challenge amid a testing period with new club Spurs.

"The morale was very, very down, also because we prepared and had training sessions to play games," he added.

"We prepared for all these games and in two weeks, three times we didn't play.

"For sure, the morale is down when this type of situation happens. For example yesterday [on Thursday], we were ready to play against Leicester.

"We were there and then before lunch, they told us the game was postponed. Then lunch, another travel, when we arrived [back at Hotspur Way] another training session. It's not easy.

"It's also not easy to explain to the players and find the right energy when you're prepared to play and the game is postponed. To come back, have another training session and today to prepare for another game versus Liverpool and you don't know if you are able to play.

"It's not simple, surely. If the morale is down, I think I can justify [that in] my players and the whole environment.

"But at the same time, we're ready to play on Sunday an important game against a really good, amazing team. With the difficulty we're facing, we're ready to play this game."