In Eregion Sauron posed as an emissary of the Valar, sent by them to Middle-earth ("thus anticipating the Istari") or ordered by them to remain there to give aid to the Elves.
(Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth, "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn")
What is Tolkien telling us here? Is he suggesting that Sauron knew the Istari would appear in Middle Earth at some point and decided to take on the form the Istari adopt?
Gandalf he did not understand. But certainly he had already become evil, and therefore stupid, enough to imagine that his different behaviour was due simply to weaker intelligence and lack of firm masterful purpose. He was only rather a cleverer Radagast — cleverer, because it is more profitable (more productive of power) to become absorbed in the study of people than of animals."
(History of Middle Earth X: Myths Transformed)
Yet in the quote above that I have provided that I used for another question, Tolkien basically says that Sauron can't get his head around Gandalf an Istari and that he doesn't understand him, but if Sauron had anticipated the arrival of the Istari, surely he would know that they were sent to oppose him?
So what is Tolkien implying when he says Sauron anticipated the Istari?