Are PSG more fearsome than the side that beat Chelsea this time last year?

They are more formidable even if the actions of one player is proving a distraction - at least in the media

Angel Di Maria, Paris Saint Germain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic,

Paris Saint Germain's Angel Di Maria, center, celebrates with teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic after scoring against Marseille, during the League One soccer match between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain, at the Velodrome Stadium, in Marseille, southern France, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

For Paris Saint-Germain right-back Serge Aurier, it certainly wasn't a case of look before you leap - or more accurately bite your tongue before insulting your manager with an unacceptable slur.

The player has been suspended by the club on the eve of tonight's Champions League last-16 first leg against Chelsea for calling Laurent Blanc a vile term in a Periscope video interview filmed with a friend.

Aurier might have apologised, but the damage is done, more so to his own PSG career.

The whole controversy has come at a time when an in-form PSG are looking towards at the Parc des Princes in Paris with a degree of confidence.

This time last year, they dumped out a negative, yet much more potent Chelsea side led by Jose Mourinho at the same stage of the Champions League thanks to Thiago Silva's extra-time header at Stamford Bridge in the second leg.

Chelsea's Diego Costa, center, argues with PSG's Thiago Motta, right, and PSG's Thiago Silva during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

PSG will have been shocked at how Mourinho resorted to type - negativity - despite the fact that Zlatan Ibrahimovic had been sent off in normal time to give the Blues an advantage.

The PSG side that Mourinho's Chelsea successor Guus Hiddink will face in Paris tonight is a much more impressive team than this time last year.

The core still remain with Ibrahimovic still performing, box-to-box midfielder Blaise Matuidi still impressive, playmaker Marco Veratti continuing to grow (not in height but in experience) and Edinson Cavani still vying up front.

But the addition of Angel Di Maria to an already star-studded squad has worked out well, with the Argentina winger looking a different prospect to the player who arrived at Manchester United from Real Madrid for big money bebfore ultimately failing as last season wore on.

Di Maria has been in fine form this season with 12 goals from 26 goals in all competitions so far this season for PSG, adding another dimension to the club's attack.

Some of those goals and skills have been spectacular:

Many could argue that playing and dominating the French league could leave them cold and ripe for a shock in Europe.

It's true that they face little to no challenge domestically given their wealth, with an imperious Ligue 1 record of 22 wins and four draws to already sit 24 points above second placed Monaco this season.

But ahead of the Chelsea game, they have faced slightly stiffer challenges with Le Classique derby rivals Marseille giving them a run for their money on February 7th as Blanc's side required a 77th winner from Di Maria in a 2-1 result.

And three days ago, Lille went to the Parc des Princes and held them to a 0-0 draw, which is the kind of result any dominant side needs to jolt them back to full focus. 

They also breezed through the Champions League group stages with the only minor setbacks being a 0-0 draw against Real Madrid at home and a 1-0 defeat away in which they may well have deserved better in both games.

They certainly are among the wider group of favourites for the trophy even if Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich still edge them.

So, Chelsea will have to resurrect the spirit of 2012 to give themselves a fighting chance of toppling Zlatan, Di Maria and co.