Nine of Conte’s squad were forced into isolation after testing positive and, although he is set to have the majority available on Sunday, the Italian says they are only likely to be fit enough for a place on the bench.
“They need time to be fit,” he told reporters on Friday.
“Before picking the starting XI you have to take into consideration all of this. For instance, to start with one player and after 60 or 70 minutes change him with one player who had Covid. In this situation, it’s important to have patience and take the right risk.”
Delle All starts for the first time under Conte after returning to training midweek following a knee injury, while Sergio Reguilon was expected to rejoin the group on Saturday although may not be deemed ready to start.
Reguilon was forced off with a knock in Spurs’ last game, the 3-0 win over Norwich.
“Until today, Sergio trained apart [from the group] but he’s ready to have the training session with us tomorrow and the player is comfortable to be back in training with us,” Conte said.
“I hope that tomorrow he’s totally recovered but today Sergio was happy. His feeling was good.”
The head coach has said the Covid situation could be a “big opportunity” for his much-maligned fringe to shine and Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon and Steven Bergwijn are pushing for a rare league start.
Spurs predicted XI: Royal, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Sessegnon; Winks, Dele, Ndombele; Son, Kane
Where: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
When: Sunday, December 19, 4.30pm GMT.
TV: Sky Sports
Referee: Paul Tierney
Out: Romero (hamstring)