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Tottenham ready for revenge against Arsenal in north London derby

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Alanna Kennedy: Midfield role was key to Spurs move (1:13)

Alanna Kennedy explains how Tottenham Hotspur were able to persuade her to join the club on loan. (1:13)

Tottenham are gearing up for revenge against Arsenal on Sunday with the scoreline of their last game, a 4-0 loss, not telling the story of a closely fought encounter, according to Spurs midfielder Alanna Kennedy.

It had been a spirited performance from Spurs in the FA Cup quarterfinals for the first 70 minutes as they held Arsenal at 0-0 but missed chances and individual errors came back to haunt the side sitting ninth in the Women's Super League.

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While no wins in four WSL games appears like an unfortunate return, the opposition has been tough with close games against confident Everton and Manchester United sides and the 2019-20 league runners up Manchester City.

For Spurs, Sunday's WSL game against Arsenal offers an opportunity to make up for the mistakes of the FA Cup quaterfinal and finally get three points on board.

"I feel good. I'm optimistic with our performances so far," Kennedy told ESPN. "Obviously I'm not happy with the results and with how the games have unfolded in terms of results but I think the performances show a lot of positive things that we can work on and build on so I'm looking forward to us getting better as a team.

Kennedy's arrival from Orlando Pride has been one of the key contributors to the side's more positive performances.

The Australia international is a regular at centre-back but has worked out of the midfield since joining Spurs, a transition she said attracted her to the club.

"For me, a key part of me joining Spurs was the desire the club had for me to play in midfield," she said. "Obviously I spend a lot of my career, especially my international career, as a centre-back which I enjoy as well. It's the role I play for our national team and I'm someone who will embrace wherever the team needs me but I feel as though individually for me playing in midfield is where I'm best so that was exciting for me to have that opportunity."

Kennedy, 25, doesn't just offer Spurs options in defence as she showed against London City Lionesses in the Continental Cup, whipping a free kick over the wall and past Shae Yanez in goal.

Despite the disappointing result, Kennedy said the FA Cup game against Arsenal was important to get an understanding of the side.

"I hadn't played against them so having a little bit of experience against them and knowing what they're about and being able to watch their games on TV has been good as well," she added.

"I think we're more prepared going into this game than we were the last one and there have been so many things we've been able to build on from each performance and so I'm hopeful that we can put that into practice again on the weekend."

Arsenal, who sit top of the WSL table with four wins from four, have concerns of their own with head coach Joe Montemurro confirming that the club are undergoing an internal review with the squad decimated by injuries.

Jordan Nobbs, Kim Little, Steph Catley, Lisa Evans, Jen Beattie and Jill Roord are all nursing issues and Montemurro said he believes the long time without football has contributed to the spike in injuries.

"I do have a sort of feeling that professional athletes being out of the game for six months, in terms of the impact, in terms of just the moment, the decision making, the different scenarios in terms of football pressure and football environments as opposed to isolated training, has taken its toll," Montemurro said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Despite the long injury list, toppling Arsenal will still be a big task for Spurs especially with the likes of Vivianne Miedema in the squad.

Miedema is one goal away from breaking the all-time WSL scoring record of 50 goals after equaling Nikita Parris' record of 49 against Brighton, reaching that tally in 49 matches.