Declan Rice believes his new pre-match ritual of wolfing down pancakes has helped Arsenal in their quest to win another Premier League title.

The Gunners will win their first league title in 20 years on Sunday if they are able to beat Everton and Manchester City slip up against West Ham. And the form of Rice, a club-record £105million capture from the Hammers in the summer, has been integral in their title push.

Rice, 25, has been in imperious form, notching seven goals and eight assists in his maiden season in red and white. And the secret behind his and Arsenal’s success? Pancakes.

Laughing, the England international reveals in an interview with Men’s Health: “I have four pancakes before a game. Covered in syrup or honey. I swear to God, it’s the best thing – it has changed this season.”

The switch was driven by a recommendation from Arsenal’s nutrionist, Rice explains. He adds: “He told me to trust him and to start eating pancakes. They’re just normal pancakes. When I joined the club, I could see the players eating them and thought to myself, ‘What is going on here?’ But honestly, it’s been a game changer.

“I don’t understand the science behind it, what’s in them or anything like that, but it gives me such a high energy boost. I think that’s why I’m able to rattle around the pitch so much… it’s actually getting out of hand. If we’re playing at 5.30pm, I’ll sometimes have eight pancakes in a day. I’ll have some at breakfast and I’ll have some more at 3.30pm before we play.”

Rice’s influence in the engine room helped Arsenal grind out a 1-0 win over Manchester United last weekend to take the title race to the final day.

Arsenal missed out on the title in the final weeks of the 2022/23 campaign. And while they will start Sunday afternoon as heavy underdogs, that won’t stop Mikel Arteta and his men from dreaming of a different outcome this time around.

Speaking in the aftermath of Arsenal’s win over United, the Spaniard told Sky Sports: “Today, we wanted to open that door to say, last game in front of our people, our families will be there and let’s live one of the most beautiful days we have lived together and see what happens.

“It’s football. There are always possibilities.”