Italy and Croatia have met on two previous occasions and both have been closely fought affairs with Croatia coming out as the victors. The most recent of these came in 2008 when Mario Ancic defeated Simone Bolelli in the decisive fifth rubber.
Andreas Seppi led Italy through the World Group play-offs with a little help from Fabio Fognini as they saw off Chile to maintain their place in the top level of Davis Cup competition. While the Italians have a proud history in the competition they have not won a World Group tie since 1998 when they went all the way to the Final.
Croatia are playing in the World Group for the fifth straight year and made it as far as the quarterfinal last time around when they were defeated by Argentina at Parque Roca. The tie in Italy will mark their fourth consecutive away tie having won on the road against South Africa and Japan before the loss in Buenos Aires.