Raphael Varane is convinced Manchester United have a squad that is set up for success despite some alarming recent results.

The last fortnight has seen United lose their Champions League opener to Young Boys and crash out of the EFL Cup against West Ham prior to Saturday's shock Premier League defeat at home to Aston Villa.

Expectations are high for United in 2021-22 after World Cup winner Varane joined from Real Madrid, while long-term target Jadon Sancho came in from Borussia Dortmund and Cristiano Ronaldo made his sensational return from Juventus.

The pressure is back on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer going into Wednesday's match with Villarreal, but Varane is not overly worried as he sees the ingredients required for success within the club.

"What I've been able to see is, with my team-mates, there's a lot of quality in our squad," Varane said as he sat alongside Solskjaer at the pre-match news conference.

"We've got huge potential, I'm convinced of it.

"We're working really hard, we're working well in training and improving all the time. Since the start of the season I think we're on a positive, upward curve.

"There is talent, there's experience there as well. We've got everything you need to have that belief that you can do well.

"I think that's a really key issue - we've got to believe in ourselves, be convinced that we can do it. We have got to be ambitious, believe in our own potential and then I think you can achieve things when you do that.

"Everything is there in the right place. Each time we go into a game, we go on that track and keep on that road of positivity, think on how we can improve in little details.

"We are on the right road."

Varane may have to hold a weakened United defence together when they face Villarreal at Old Trafford.

Fellow centre-back Harry Maguire is out for a few weeks with a calf injury, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka is suspended and Luke Shaw will be a late fitness check.

United face a tough test, having failed to win in their five previous meetings with Villarreal, scoring just once in those contests.

Villarreal are also unbeaten in their last 16 major European games (W12 D4) across the Europa League and Champions League, the longest current run of any side.

Ahead of the key Group F clash, Varane agreed the pressure of playing for United can be compared with what he experienced during his time at Madrid.

"Big clubs are always wanting a lot of their players, they expect a lot from the players," he said.

"There are a lot of demands. It is always hard to make comparisons but I believe that it's fairly similar in terms of the hopes and demands and expectations at big clubs.

"After a defeat or a draw, you know what it's like, it's always very negative when that happens.

"The key is to keep up good runs of results and be positive. That pressure you kind of live with it at big clubs - there is always a lot of expectation, for sure."